Congestive Heart Failure

1589 WordsNov 1, 20137 Pages
Congestive Heart Failure Congestive Heart Failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the needs of the rest of the body (Department of Health & Human Services, 2012). The failure can occur in on either side of the heart. In left-side heart failure, fluid backs up into the lungs, causing shortness of breath, due to the fact that the blood entering the left side of the heart comes from the pulmonary artery, and when the left ventricle cannot pump fluid out of the heart or when the left atrium cannot empty completely into the ventricle it backs up into the lungs. In right-side heart failure, fluid can back up into the abdomen, legs, and feet, causing swelling. The blood being pumped into the right…show more content…
Contracting an infection like this can quickly kill someone already living with heart failure. It is important that a patient with CHF be monitored for signs of distress. Vital signs like high blood pressure, rapid pulse, irregular respirations and fluid intake/output should be monitored. All of these vitals will already have expected irregularities, which lead to initial diagnosis. After care is started, the vitals should be monitored for additional changes. In the event of an emergency such as inability to breathe, a nursing assistant should call an ambulance right away and begin life-supporting measures such as CPR (Carter, 2012). Legal and ethical issues associated with caring for someone with congestive heart failure vary widely. For example, a doctor has many ethical guidelines he or she must follow with those patients in need of a heart transplant. Depending on factors such as the patient 's age, severity of the condition and their personal wishes and beliefs, the patient may want to have a power of attorney, a will and possibly a DNR on file (Carter, 2012). Patients with congestive heart failure must be careful of the amount of physical activity they participate in. Short spurts of low-level exercise are often safe to perform, but it is important not to make the heart work too hard for its reduced capacity. Heart failure in its
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