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PATHOPHARMACOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS1Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing PracticeHeart FailureCasey B WalkowiakWestern Governors University
PATHOPHARMACOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS2Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing PracticeInvestigated Disease Process Heart failure is a devastating, chronic illness that affects about 5.7 million adults in the United States. Roughly half the patients who are diagnosed with heart failure die within 5 years of the diagnosis and cost the nation an estimated $30.7 billion annually (CDC, n.d.). There is expected to be an almost 50% increase in the prevalence of heart failure by the year 2030 (Albert& Kozinn, 2018). As heart failure is a syndrome and not a disease, there is no cure, patients deal with the debilitating effects of the symptoms through the rest of their lives. Heart failure patients have significantly reduced the quality of life due to frequent admissions to the hospital, reduced the ability to perform their normal daily tasks, missed workdays and stress on both the patient and their family. Education for both the patient and their family regarding disease pathophysiology, symptom management, and psychosocial effects is key to helping patients maintain as much normalcy in their life as possible.PathophysiologyHeart failure is often times thought of as your heart no longer works but the term actuallyrefers to the failure of the heart to supply the volume of blood needed to meet the demands of thebody. According to Nicholson (2007), heart failure is a syndrome, a collection of signs and symptoms indicative of certain anatomical and physiological changes in the heart. Heart failure can be described in term of the structural changes in the heart, the functional changes in how the heart performs and, either as acute or chronic depending on the symptoms at presentation (Nicholson, 2007). The most noted manifestations of heart failure are dyspnea and fatigue, exercise intolerance and fluid retention which could lead to pulmonary congestion and/or peripheral edema (Aguanno & Samson, 2018). There are multiple risk factors that put patients at
PATHOPHARMACOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS3risk for developing heart failure including congenital heart disease, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, age, valvular heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.Heart failure occurs in patients when there is a change to the muscles of the heart then, in turn, the heart is not able to meet the demands of the body. Some of the causes leading to these changes can be caused by myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias or hypertension. Heart failure can be characterized structurally by terms such as left-sided, right-sided, biventricular and congestive heart failure (Nicholson, 2007).