John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Columbus Ohio
Medical Pathology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing | Virus Diseases
Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, which is seen in many different patient populations, is on the rise in the United States. According to Chan et al. (2015), “In 2012, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) reported 68 cases of infectious syphilis, a 300% increase from 2006. This trend is observed across the country.” More recently if you live in the Columbus area you may have seen an increasing number of billboards focused directly on testing for sexually transmitted diseases and markedly focused on syphilis. Syphilis can affect patient populations across genres, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Which in turn makes it a topic that is very transient across many nursing area and specialties. Nurses can and should be addressing sexual health with their patients. This topic is important especially for providers working in the emergency department because many times patients present with very vague, seemingly unrelated symptoms and as a provider you may need to find that one in a million diagnosis. As an emergency room provider you may see patients presenting with undiagnosed or mistreated symptoms that could actually be latent syphilis or unknown congenital syphilis. Mattei, Beachkofsky, Gilson & Wisco state that there are three presentations of tertiary syphilis, also known as latent syphilis, can be seen as neurosyphilis, cardiovascular syphilis, and late benign syphilis.” This along with congenital syphilis can be the “good catch” or lifesaving diagnosis that can change a patient’s life if the provider is able to diagnosis and provide treatment quickly.
Gompf, Leslie, "Syphilis ‘The Great Imitator’" (2015). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship. Paper 104.