Geriatric Cardiovascular System Case Study

2344 Words 10 Pages
Data regarding the cardiovascular system of older adults is slightly limited, due to the fact that older people are usually not included in clinical trials. However, enough research has been done to identify common physiological changes in the geriatric cardiovascular system, such as: increased heart weight; decreased number of myocardial cells with enlargement of remaining cells; increased left ventricle wall thickness; increased arterial stiffness; increased elastin levels; increased collagen levels; increased left atrium size; decreased aortic dispensability; and decreased vascular tone. This causes decreased diastolic pressure (during initial filling of the heart); decreased diastolic filling; decreased reaction to beta-adrenergic stimulus; …show more content…
Respiratory muscle strength decreases with age, making effective airway clearance much more difficult, making older adults much more susceptible to infection (Goodwin and Sharma, 2006). Alveolar dead space also increases with age, reducing the amount of arterial oxygen. Degeneration of elastic fibers around the alveolar duct result in enlargement of air spaces. Changes in the lungs effect each individual person’s exercise ability differently. How well a person is able to exercise with age depends on their physical fitness and individual level of physical activity. Aging is also associated with a reduction in chest wall compliance and increased air trapping, which effects men much more than it does women. Due to a limited respiratory reserve and diminished ventilatory response, ventilatory failure during high demand states (such as a heart attack or pneumonia) is more probable in older adults. One of the most important safety precautions in the elderly regarding respiratory illnesses is prevention. Standard precautions should be followed by all staff and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn. Teaching patients to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing, especially around others, should be taught. Proper hand washing technique should be taught to all patients to prevent the spread of infection. Tissues should be provided to all patients, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be placed in every room. Another important safety measure is separating the healthy patients from the ill patients. If a patient has a respiratory illness, they should be placed in isolation. If there is another patient with the same illness, the two patients may be placed in the same room while they are recovering. Regarding the individual patient, they should always be kept in semi-fowlers to high-fowlers

Related Documents