Case Study 1 Heart Failure
Setting: Emergency department, hospital
Index Words: heart failure (HF), cardiomyopathy, volume overload, quality of life
M.G., a “frequent flier,” is admitted to the emergency department (ED) with a diagnosis of heart failure
(HF). She was discharged from the hospital 10 days ago and comes in today stating, “I just had to come to the hospital today because I can't catch my breath and my legs are as big as tree trunks.” After further questioning, you learn she is strictly following the fluid and salt restriction ordered during her last hospital admission. She reports gaining 1 to 2 pounds every day since her discharge.
1. What error in teaching most likely occurred when M.G. was discharged 10 days ago?
A breakdown of successful communication occurred regarding when to call with early weight gain. It is imperative that patients understand when to call their provider after being discharged from the hospital for exacerbated HF. Comprehensive patient education starting at admission is considered a standard of care and is mandated by The Joint Commission when providing care to hospitalized patients. The goal of the discharge treatment plan is to facilitate successful patient selfmanagement, minimize symptoms, and prevent readmission.
CASE STUDY PROGRESS
During the admission interview, the nurse makes a list of the medications M.G. took at home.
■ Chart View
Nursing Assessment: Medications Taken at Home
Enalapril (Vasotec) 5 mg PO bid
Pioglitazone (Actos) 45 mg PO every morning
Furosemide (Lasix) 40 mg/day PO
Potassium chloride 20 mEq/day PO
2. Which of these medications may have contributed to M.G.'s heart failure? Explain.
Thiazolidinediones, such as pioglitazone, may increase the risk of heart failure and should not be used in patients with symptoms of heart failure. They commonly cause peripheral edema and weight gain (which