Causes, Incidence & Risk Factors
As per 2015 findings, 43,602 deaths occurred in Australia due to heart ailments. Of all Australians aged 75 – 84, 26.0% reported to be having heart issues (Heart Foundation, 2015).
The behavioural risk factors include smoking, wrong diet, physical activities, alcohol abuse and the medical risk factors are – high blood pressure, disease of coronary artery, diabetes, certain diabetes medications, medications like NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), obesity and weight issues, mental health problems etc. Further complications can arise from the risk factors like, advanced age, damage of the kidneys, problems in the heart valve, damage of the liver etc (O’Brien & Davis, 2013).
The prevalence and incidence of heart failures have increased by manifold in the last few decades, and though treatment and early detection techniques have markedly improved, the patients still suffer from the impact of the problem and have high rates of mortality (Smeulders et al., 2009). This disease leaves a physical and psychosocial impact on the patients and their care giving family. As congestive heart failure, typically is associated with frequent re--hospitalizations, this becomes a psychological and physical tiresome burden for both patients and their families (Rustad, Stern, Hebert, & Musselman, 2013). The chances of congestive heart failure increases with advanced age, and deprivation and this gradual shift in the demographics leave a challenge for the health service. The patients typically have a number of health complications, very strict medical regimens to be followed, disabling conditions, unpredictable worsening of situations and need critical and accurate care. Therefore, this leaves a great mental burden on the patient families, and their mental health along with making the patient fatigued, irritable and breathless (Wall, Ballard, Troped, Njike, & Katz, 2010). Hence, the mental and physical health of both the patients and their families get impacted and hence, proper treatment and helpful guidance must be offered to both the patients and their caregivers.
Signs & Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure
2. Orthopnea – This is another key symptom of a congestive heart failure, and depicts a condition where the patient feels shorteness of breath which occurs even when the patient is lying at rest and is in the flat posture (Kantharia, 2010). This causes the patient to sleep either sitting in a chair or propped up on the bed. Though Mrs. McKenzie still did not depict this condition, it is one of the most key symptoms of CHF. The patho-physiology of this is the patient feels the need for more air when lying in the flat posture, and therefore needs to be propped up.
3. Acute pulmonary edema is another key symptom of CHF and this depicts the filling up of airspaces in the lung with fluid (Scott & Winters, 2015). Mrs. McKenzie has been identified having lower lobe infiltrate, which is a sign of pulmonary edema. The pathophysiology associated is the feeling of breathlessness and short of breath, and also the time taken for the skin to get back to normal when pinched upon is slower than normal conditions, as is depicted in the case of Mrs. McKenzie.
4. Fatigue and dizziness, acts as another key symptom of Congestive Cardiac Failure (Goodlin, 2009), and the patient feels week, nauseas and dizzy as has been the case of Mrs. McKenzie.
5. Fluids build up and swelling in the ankles depict that fluid accumulation is occurring in the body, and this can act as a symptom and sign of worsening of a heart failure (Albert, 2012). The patient feels bloated, and discomfort as a result.
2 common genre drug to treat this & psychological effect
A number of side effects of beta blockers exist namely, diarrhoea, cramps in the stomach, vomiting, nausea, blurred vision, insomnia, muscle cramps. However, the psychological impact beta blockers have on the patient is also significant. Along with fatigue and weakness, beta blockers are known to impact the mood of the patients. As per a paper by Head et al, beta blockers lead to making the patients more anxious and negatively impacted on the overall mood (Head, Kendall, Ferner, & Eagles, 1996). Beta blocker medicines are also associated with depression in patients (van Melle et al., 2006) but certain studies have also negated this association (Hoogwegt, Kupper, Theuns, Jordaens, & Pedersen, 2012).
These are well tolerated amongst majority of patients but still can cause side effects namely, dizziness, headaches, weakness, salty or metallic taste in the mouth, chronic cough, heightened sensitivity to the sun etc (Kumar, Kumar, Sharma, & Baruwa, 2010). The psychological impact of ACE inhibitors can be the sensation of weakness, fatigue, mental confusion and also can lead to a change in the manner patients usually speak. Along with this, a discouraging attitude, lower libido, nausea, nervousness, insomnia etc are specific psychological aspects which also leave a negative impact on the psyche of the patients (Hanif, Bid, & Konwar, 2010).
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Nursing Care Strategies – 24 hours post ED Admission
For bringing normalcy in her cardiac output in the first 24 hours, the following interventions can be taken and their rationale are also mentioned as follows;
- The heart rates will be accessed, her heart rhythm monitored and the abnormality if any will have to be monitored.
- Heart sounds should have to be measured effectively, and murmurs if any can present valvular incompetency
- Palpation of the peripheral pulses have to be done and if abnormality observed will have to be monitored and noted
- BP has to be monitored and it might be elevated due to the presence of SVR.
- Skin colour and texture has to be monitored for pallor, and presence of cyanosis if any as pallor indicates inadequate cardiac input and cyanosis can occur in refractory type of Cardiac Failure (Orr, Boxer, Dolansky, Allen, & Forman, 2016)
- The urine output has to be monitored for any abnormality, and if presence of decreased and concentrated urine, notification should be done
- Encourage the patient for rest, maybe propped on the bed so that flat posture is avoided
- Care must be taken to note any unusual disorientation, lethargy and anxiety and depression symptoms
- Provision of a quiet environment has to be given so that therapeutic management activities can be ascertained and patient can be in a stress less environment. Efforts can be taken to create an open and communicative relationship (Azzolin et al., 2013)
- Bedside commode must be provided so that patient has to engage in minimal physical activities
- The legs must be elevated and pressure should be avoided on the knee
- Calm tenderness should be looked for, and swollen ankles must be noted and interventions provided
- Supplemental oxygen can be provided as this would combat the effects of hypoxia if any (Albert, 2006)
Along with this, as a nursing strategy, care and interventions must be taken to note the vital signs after each activity to understand the cardiopulmonary responses to such activity. Along with this, since Mrs. McKenzie also complained of swollen ankles and had fluid deposition, care and interventions during the first 24 hours of patient care must involve activities of tackling fluid management as well. The following are the strategies which the nursing care can take;
- checking the urine output and related detail
- Keeping the patient on bed rest in the position of semi-Fowler, and keeping the feet in elevated position
- Inspection must be done on the dependent body regions for edema and the general edema
- Positions must be changed frequently and skin surface must be checked (Jung, Yeh, & Pressler, 2012)
- The breath sounds must be noted carefully for crackles as the presence of fluid can lead to pulmonary congestion.
- If sudden breathlessness and air hunger is noticed, immediate actions should be taken.
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Albert, N. M. (2012). Fluid management strategies in heart failure. Critical Care Nurse, 32(2), 20–32. https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2012877
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