Heart Failure Essay

2214 Words Oct 28th, 2010 9 Pages
This assignment will take the form of a case study on a current patient with heart failure being nursed in a community setting. Due to confidentiality and patient privacy, the patient discussed will be referred to as John¹.

John is an 82 year old gentleman who lives alone in sheltered accommodation. John’s son and daughter live close and take it in turns to visit daily. John is an ex-smoker who gave up 20 years ago, has long standing hypertension and is overweight having a BMI of 30 kg/m.

John was diagnosed with heart failure a year ago after being hospitalised three times in the space of four months. Stewart (2004) feels that a diagnoses of heart failure is problematic in older patients as their symptoms can often mimic other
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When nursing any patient with heart failure it is important to have an understanding of how the heart should work to understand how it stops working correctly. This knowledge is important as writtler (2006) (cited in Jones) feels that district nurses have little knowledge when it comes to heart failure. Patient, Writler (2006) feels that by understanding how the heart works and how it is damaged we, as district nurses will be able to recognise the signs of heart failure earlier7a?.

The heart is basically a pump that has to circulate the blood around the body delivering oxygenated blood to our organs and then returning deoxygenated blood to our lungs. There are four chambers in the heart, two atria and two ventricles. There are four main valves, mitral, aortic, tricuspid and pulmonary7b.

HYPERTENSION

John’s long standing Hypertension causes his heart to work harder, putting more strain on his heart and arteries. In order to achieve a gradient in pressure by which blood flows from an area of higher pressure to one of lower pressure, the left ventricle must exceed the increased pressure in the arterial system (Ref).

As the process occurs with each heart beat, it is easy to see that John’s heart is under continuous strain from the added work. Pinneo/19958 feels that any factor that puts strain on the heart causing it to work hard is one of the causes of heart failure.

AGE

John’s age would have contributed to his

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