Congestive Heart Failure Case Study

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 1124
  • Published: December 18, 2010
Read full document
Text Preview
Running head: CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

Congestive Heart Failure – Case Study

Pathophysiology – BSRN – 420
Instructors: October 10, 2010

Report on Congestive Heart Failure

The heart is a muscle, the most important one in the body. It works like a pump; it receives blood from the body and pumps the blood into the lungs, where it receives oxygen. This oxygen rich blood is then pumped out in to the body system to nourish the body. Congestive heart failure occurs when this pumping action is impaired, and the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. When the heart cannot pump out the blood it receives, excess fluid may back up into the lungs and other body tissues. If the amount of nourishment to the body decreases and causes fluid to overflow into the lungs, this may cause symptoms of congestive heart failure. According to (Understanding Congestive Heart Failure, 1995, pg.1), this is an illustration on how the blood flows through the body and how the heart works. How the heart works:

1) Venous blood flows from the body to the right side of the heart. 2) Blood is then pumped to the lungs to pick up oxygen. 3) After picking up oxygen, blood goes to the left side of the heart. 4) Blood is pumped out to nourish the body.

[pic]
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body. Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working, it means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should. The weakening of the heart’s pumping ability causes blood and fluid to back up into the lungs. The buildup of fluid in the feet, ankles and legs, called edema, and it causes tiredness and shortness of breath. The leading causes of heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. It is almost always a chronic, long-term condition, although it can develop suddenly. This condition can affect the right side, the left side, or both sides of the heart. As the heart’s pumping action is lost, blood may back up into other areas of the body, including the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, and extremities (right sided heart failure), the lungs (left sided heart failure). Many organs do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, which damages them and reduces their ability to function properly. Most areas of the body can be affected when both sides of the heart fail. Heart failure becomes more common with advancing age, obesity, diabetes, use of alcohol or cocaine, and smoking cigarettes. Signs and Symptoms according to (Google Health, 2010, pg.1) • Shortness of breath with activity, or after lying down for a while • Cough

• Swelling of feet and ankles
• Swelling of the abdomen
• Weight gain
• Irregular or rapid pulse
• Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations) • Difficulty sleeping
• Fatigue, weakness, faintness
• Loss of appetite, indigestion
Other symptoms may include:
• Decreased alertness or concentration
• Decreased urine production
• Nausea and vomiting
• Need to urinate at night
Illustration (Google Health, 2010, pg.1) of how the blood flows through the heart and into the lungs to get oxygenated and circulate throughout the body. This shows oxygen rich blood (red), and oxygen poor blood (blue), this illustration is similar to the one on page two of this report. It is a good image of the way the blood flows through the heart. The colors make this visual aid easier for the reader to understand the pathophysiology of the blood flow through the heart. [pic]

“The heart is a large muscular organ which constantly pushes oxygen-rich blood to the brain and extremities and transports oxygen-poor blood from the brain...
tracking img