Essay on Heart Failure

6854 Words Aug 2nd, 2015 28 Pages
Heart Failure
Christy Harding
Western Governors University
C155- Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advance Nursing Practice

Heart failure affects nearly 6 million Americans. It is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65. Roughly 550,000 people are diagnosed with heart failure each year (Emory Healthcare, 2014). Heart failure is a pathologic state where the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the demand of the body’s metabolic needs or when the ventricle’s ability to fill is impaired. It is not a disease, but rather a complex clinical syndrome. The symptoms of heart failure come from pulmonary vascular congestion and inadequate perfusion of the systemic circulation. Individuals experience orthopnea, fatigue,
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Preload, also known as left ventricular end-diastolic volume, is the amount that enters the left ventricle that needs to be pumped out. Preload increases when there is decreased contractility or if there is excess volume. Increases in preload can up to a certain point help cardiac output, but if it rises too much it stretches the heart’s muscle and leads to dysfunction and decreased contractility. The heart will respond to the volume it is given with a determined output. If the given volume increases so will the output in a normal physiological state, to a determined plateau that is described in the Frank-Stalling law. This law states that when the ventricular volume increases and the heart muscle is stretched, the stroke volume will increase up to its maximum capacity. Once it reaches maximum capacity, increasing volume causes an increase in pulmonary capillary capacity pressure and pulmonary congestion, but the stroke volume or cardiac output does not increase (Figueroa & Peters, 2006). Preload is assessed by measuring right atrial pressure.
Diastolic function includes the elasticity of the left ventricle and the process of myocardial relaxation. In diastolic dysfunction, impaired left ventricle relaxation is the primary abnormality. Loss of normal left ventricular dispensability or relaxation by functional changes or structural changes impairs ventricular filling. Left atrial and pulmonary venous pressures increase and pulmonary…

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