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  • 1. Managing Heart Failure By Lacey Buckler, RN, ACNP-BC, MSN Nursing made Incredibly Easy! May/June 2009 2.5 ANCC contact hours Online: www.nursingcenter.com © 2009 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All world rights reserved.
  • 2. Statistics
    • Leading cause of hospitalization
    • 50% of patients with heart failure over a 4-year period will die of the disease
    • 287,000 people die annually of heart failure
    • 40% of patient’s admitted to the hospital die or are readmitted within 1 year
  • 3. Definition
    • The heart’s inability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s oxygen and nutrient demands
    • Can be systolic or diastolic, left- or right-sided, acute or chronic
  • 4. Types
    • Systolic (pumping problem)—inability of the heart to contract to provide enough blood flow forward
    • Diastolic (filling problem)—inability of the left ventricle to relax normally, resulting in fluid back up into the lungs
    • Left-sided —inability of the left ventricle to pump enough blood, causing fluid back up into the lungs
    • Right-sided —inefficient pumping of the right side of the heart, causing fluid buildup in the abdomen, legs, and feet
  • 5. Acute vs. Chronic
    • Acute —an emergency situation in which a patient was completely asymptomatic before the onset of heart failure; seen in acute heart injury such as MI
    • Chronic —long-term syndrome in which a patient exhibits symptoms over a long period of time, usually as a result of a preexisting cardiac condition
  • 6. Conditions That Can Lead to Heart Failure
    • Coronary artery disease —primary cause of heart failure in 60% of patients
    • Cardiomyopathy —disease of the myocardium; three types: dilated, hypertrophic, and restrictive
    • Hypertension —increases cardiac workload, leads to hypertrophy
    • Valvular heart disease —increases pressure within the heart and cardiac workload
  • 7. Picturing Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • 8. Picturing Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
  • 9. Other Conditions That Contribute to Heart Failure
    • Increased metabolic rate
    • Iron overload
    • Hypoxia
    • Severe anemia
    • Electrolyte abnormalities
    • Cardiac dysrhythmias
    • Diabetes
  • 10. Left-Sided Heart Failure Signs & Symptoms
    • Dyspnea
    • Unexplained cough
    • Pulmonary crackles
    • Low oxygen saturation
    • Third heart sound
    • Reduced urine output
    • Altered digestion
    • Dizziness and light-headedness
    • Confusion
    • Restlessness and anxiety
    • Fatigue and weakness
  • 11. Right-Sided Heart Failure Signs & Symptoms
    • Lower extremity edema
    • Liver enlargement
    • Ascites
    • Anorexia
    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea
    • Weight gain
    • Weakness
  • 12. Diagnostic Tests
    • Medical history and physical exam
    • Brain natriuretic peptide measurement
    • Lab tests: complete blood cell count, metabolic panel, liver function studies, and urinalysis
    • Other tests: thyroid function tests and fasting lipid profile
  • 13. Diagnostic Tests
    • Echocardiogram to assess ejection fraction (EF)
    • Chest X-ray
    • ECG
    • Cardiac stress test
    • Cardiac catheterization
    • Cardiac computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging
    • Radionuclide ventriculography
    • Ambulatory ECG monitoring (Halter monitor)
    • Pulmonary function tests
    • Heart biopsy
    • Exercise testing (6-minute walk)
  • 14. Staging & Severity
    • After all data are gathered, cause and classification can be determined and an appropriate treatment plan
    • Two well-accepted classification systems used: ACC/AHA stages of heart failure and NYHA functional classifications
  • 15. Managing The Stages
    • Stage A identifies patients at high risk for heart failure because of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
    • • Treat each comorbidity according to current evidence-based guidelines.
    • Stage B includes patients with structural heart disease, such as left ventricular remodeling, left ventricular hypertrophy, or previous MI, but no symptoms.
    • • Provide all appropriate therapies in Stage A.
    • • Focus on slowing the progression of ventricular remodeling and delaying the onset of heart failure symptoms.
    • • Strongly recommended in appropriate patients: Treat with ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers unless contraindicated; these drugs delay the onset of symptoms and decrease the risk of death and hospitalization.
  • 16. Managing The Stages
    • Stage C includes patients with past or current heart failure symptoms associated with structural heart disease such as advanced ventricular remodeling.
    • • Use appropriate treatments for Stages A and B.
    • • Modify fluid and dietary intake.
    • • Use additional drug therapies, such as diuretics, aldosterone inhibitors, and ARBs in patients who can’t tolerate ACE inhibitors, digoxin, and vasodilators.
    • • Treat with nonpharmacologic measures such as biventricular pacing, an ICD, and valve or revascularization surgery.
    • • Avoid drugs known to cause adverse reactions in symptomatic patients, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, most antiarrhythmics, and calcium channel blockers.
    • • Administer anticoagulation therapy to patients with a history of previous embolic event, paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation, familial dilated cardiomyopathy, and underlying disorders that may increase the risk of thromboembolism.
  • 17. Managing The Stages
    • Stage D includes patients with refractory advanced heart failure having symptoms at rest or with minimal exertion and frequently requiring intervention in the acute setting because of clinical deterioration.
    • • Improve cardiac performance.
    • • Facilitate diuresis.
    • • Promote clinical stability.
    • Achieving these goals may require I.V. diuretics, inotropic support (milrinone, dobutamine, or dopamine), or vasodilators (nitroprusside, nitroglycerin, or nesiritide). As heart failure progresses, many patients can no longer tolerate ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers due to renal dysfunction and hypotension and may need supportive therapy to sustain life (a left ventricular assist device, continuous I.V. inotropic therapy, experimental surgery or drugs, or a heart transplant) or end-of-life or hospice care.
  • 18. IHI Treatment Bundle
    • Assessment of left ventricular systolic function
    • An ACE or an ARB when left ventricular EF is less than 40%
    • Anticoagulant if patient has atrial fibrillation
    • Smoking cessation counseling
    • Discharge instructions: activity, diet, medications, weight monitoring, reportable symptoms, follow-up appointments
    • Seasonal flu shot
    • Pneumococcal vaccine
    • Optional beta-blocker therapy
  • 19. Three Basic Treatment Strategies
    • Pharmacologic management
    • Devices and surgical management
    • Lifestyle management
  • 20. Pharmacologic Management
    • Foundation is the ACE inhibitor
    • • Improves ventricular function
    • • Improves patient well-being
    • • Reduces hospitalization
    • • Increases survival
    • If the patient is unable tolerate an ACE inhibitor, an ARB can be used
    • A beta-blocker should be started on all patients with an EF less than 40% due to mortality benefit shown in randomized control trials
  • 21. Pharmacologic Management
    • An aldosterone antagonist may be added for patients whose EF is less than 35% and who are on an adequate ACE inhibitor
    • Other drugs: hydralazine/isorbide, diuretics, and digoxin
  • 22. Devices and Surgical Management
    • First option if the cause of heart failure can be treated surgically
    • Several therapeutic options: pacing, an ICD, a ventricular assist device, an artificial heart, or a heart transplant
    • Pacing or resynchronization therapy is recommended for patients with NYHA Class III or IV with QRS prolongation who are experiencing symptoms despite medications
  • 23. Devices and Surgical Management
    • An ICD may be used in patients with arrhythmias to prevent sudden cardiac death
    • A left ventricular assist device may be used as a bridge to transplant or destination therapy
    • End-stage heart failure patients may consider heart transplant
  • 24. Lifestyle Management
    • Adherence to treatment regime
    • Symptom recognition
    • Weight monitoring
    • Diet and nutrition
    • Fluid intake
    • Alcohol and smoking cessation
    • Physical activity
  • 25. Nursing Interventions
    • Administer medications and monitor response
    • Weigh the patient daily at the same time on the same scale, early in the day after urination; report a 2 to 3 lb gain in a day or 5 lbs in a week to the healthcare provider
    • Auscultate lung sounds
    • Monitor vital signs
    • Identify and evaluate edema severity
    • Examine skin turgor
  • 26. Patient Teaching
    • The disorder, diagnosis, and treatment
    • Signs and symptoms of worsening heart failure
    • When to notify the healthcare provider
    • The importance of follow-up care
    • The need to avoid high-sodium foods
    • The need to avoid fatigue
  • 27. Patient Teaching
    • Instructions about fluid restrictions
    • The need for the patient to weigh himself every morning at the same time, before eating and after urinating, to keep a record of his weight, and to report a weight gain of 3 to 5 lbs in 1 week
    • The importance of smoking cessation, if appropriate
    • Medication dosage, administration, adverse reactions, and monitoring