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Running head: HEART FAILURE1Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing PracticeWestern Governors University
HEART FAILURE2Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing PracticeInvestigated Disease Process [A]Heart failure is a form of heart disease that progressively gets worse over time. The diagnosis of heart failure means the heart is unable to pump enough blood to effectively circulatenutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to nourish the cells and meet the body’s needs (American Heart Association [AHA], n.d-j). This is a chronic, progressive condition that gradually gets worse as the heart’s ability to pump and/or fill with blood is reduced. Initially the heart attempts to compensate for being unable to keep up with its workload by enlarging, developing more musclemass, and pumping faster. These compensation mechanisms mask the underlying problem of heart failure, until the body can no longer keep up (AHA, n.d.-j). At this point, a person may become symptomatic experiencing the most common symptoms of fatigue, edema, shortness of breath, and/or persistent coughing (AHA, n.d.-i). According to McCance and Huether (2018), a person with hypertension has the highest risk for developing heart failure. Other risk factors include obesity, age, smoking, congenital heart disease, renal failure, excessive alcohol use, and other cardiomyopathies. Heart failure is an incurable but treatable condition. Treatments include lifestyle changes, medications, implanted devices, and surgical procedures (AHA, n.d.-g). With many treatment options available, a person living with heart failure can continue living a full life.Research sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), suggests that after age 65, heart failure incidence approaches 21 per 1000 people (Benjamin et al., 2017). The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that more than 6 million people in the United States are currently living with heart failure (AHA, n.d.-h). Research by Savarese and Lund (2017) indicates that the prevalence of heart failure is rising due to the aging population and improvements in treatment. According to Benjamin et al. (2017), the prevalence projections of
HEART FAILURE3people diagnosed with heart failure show an increase of 46% from 2012 to 2030, resulting in an estimated 8 million people living with heart failure. In the next ten years, the estimated cost to Americans is expected to increase by almost 40 billion dollars (AHA, n.d.-h). Pathophysiology [A.1.]Heart failure is the pathophysiologic condition in which the heart cannot generate adequate supply of blood to the body, also known as cardiac output. Initially the heart uses compensatory mechanisms to make up for lack of cardiac output, such as enlarging, developing more muscle mass, or pumping faster (AHA, n.d-j). The body may compensate for low cardiac output by narrowing or constricting the blood vessels to maintain a normal blood pressure. The body may also divert blood from less important tissues and organs to allow vital organs, such as the brain and heart, to receive more of the oxygenated blood. Although these compensatory