Patient Afib Case Study

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Patient Afib is a 58 year old, Caucasian, married male. The patient has been healthy most of his life with no significant health issues until the beginning of this year. One night, in April of 2016, patient Afib began to experience chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting prompting him to visit the emergency room. Subsequent tests revealed that patient Afib had symptomatic atrial fibrillation. Physicians in the ER stated that patient Afib probably had had atrial fibrillation for a while, but it had been exacerbated for an unknown reason. The emergency room physician advised patient Afib to visit a cardiologist to figure out why the arrhythmia had begun and how to fix it. After consultation with a cardiologist and a sleep study, …show more content…
Physicians prescribed this drug in order to determine if patient Afib’s shortness of breath was due to his atrial fibrillation and not due to underlying asthma that had not been noted before. Proair HFA is one of the many trade names for albuterol sulfate. This manufacturer, along with others, now uses HFA (hyrdofluoroalkane) instead of CFC’s as a propellant in their meter dose inhalers since there were concerns about CFC’s contributing to ozone depletion (Swisher, n.d.). Albuterol works by acting as an agonist of β2 adrenergic receptors responsible for bronchodilation, uterine relaxation, and vasodilation of the arterioles in the lungs, heart, and skeletal muscle (Usher, n.d.c). Albuterol, used primarily as a rescue inhaler, utilizes the bronchodilation component of β2 adrenergic receptor stimulation in order to treat bronchospasms caused by asthma. Once inhaled, albuterol takes 5 to 15 minutes to take effect and its effects can last anywhere from three to six hours (Usher, n.d.b). Patient Afib was instructed to take Proair HFA as needed for shortness of breath. After taking it for a couple months it was determined that patient Afib’s shortness of breath was likely caused by his atrial fibrillation and not asthma. It is likely physicians will soon discontinue patient Afib’s prescription for this …show more content…
Metoprolol is a drug that antagonizes β1 adrenergic receptors responsible for increasing heart rate and force (Usher, n.d.c; Usher, n.d.d). By blocking β1 receptors metoprolol causes a decrease in heart rate, cardiac output, and contractility (Usher, n.d.a). Due to these effects, metoprolol is used mainly to treat hypertension, but can be also be used to treat some tachycardias such as atrial fibrillation (Usher, n.d.d). Patient Afib uses metoprolol mainly for its rate controlling effects, but also benefits from its antihypertensive properties. Some common side effects of metoprolol include fatigue, depression, dizziness, and bradycardia (Usher, n.d.a). As noted before, patient Afib has complained of fatigue while performing tasks he was previously able to do with ease. The patient also noted that at times he feels dizzy when he overexerts

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