Pediculosis (Head Lice)

  1. General information
    1. Parasitic infestation
    2. Adult lice are spread by close physical contact (sharing combs, hats, etc.)
    3. Occurs in school-age children, particularly those with long hair
  2. Medical management: special shampoos followed by use of fine-tooth comb to remove nits
  3. Assessment findings
    1. White eggs (nits) firmly attached to base of hair shafts
    2. Pruritus of scalp
  4. Nursing interventions
    1. Institute skin isolation precautions (especially head coverings and gloves to prevent spread to self, other staff, and clients).
    2. Use special shampoo and comb the hair.
    3. Provide client teaching and discharge planning concerning
      1. How to check self and other family members and how to treat them
      2. Washing of clothes, bed linens, etc.; discouraging sharing of brushes, combs, and hats