eBook: Winningham and Preusser’s Critical Thinking Cases in Nursing 4th 978-0323063470


  • eBook: Winningham and Preusser’s Critical Thinking Cases in Nursing 4th 978-0323063470
  • Price: $5
  • Published: 2008
  • ISBN-10: 0323063470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0323063470


eBook: Winningham and Preusser’s Critical Thinking Cases in Nursing 4th 978-0323063470

PART ONE –  Medical-Surgical Cases – Chapter 1 Cardiovascular Disorders

Case Study 1 Heart Failure

Diffi culty: Beginning

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 fl uid 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? [c]

She was not instructed when to call with early weight gain, thus leading to her current ED

visit. Patients need to be instructed when to call their provider after being discharged from the

hospital for exacerbated HF. Complete self-management patient education 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 minimize symptoms and prevent



You chart the medications M.G. brought with her: enalapril (Vasotec) 5 mg bid, digoxin 0.125 mg/day,

rosiglitazone 4 mg, furosemide 40 mg/day, and potassium chloride 20 mEq/day. The admitting provider

orders all the medications but changes the furosemide to 80 mg IV push (IVP) now, then 40 mg/

day IVP.



PART ONE Medical-Surgical Cases

Mosby items and derived items © 2009, 2005 by Mosby, Inc., an affiliate of Elsevier Inc.


PART ONE Medical-Surgical Cases

2. What is the rationale for changing the method of administering furosemide? [c]

M.G. is fl uid overloaded and needs to decrease fl uid volume in a short period. IV administration

is delivered directly into the vascular system, where it can start to work immediately. In HF, blood

fl ow to the entire GI system is compromised; therefore the absorption of orally ingested medications

may be variable and take longer to work.

3. You administer furosemide 80 mg IVP. Identify three parameters you would use to

monitor the effectiveness of this medication. [k]

• Daily weight

• I&O

• Decreased dependent edema

• Decreased SOB, decreased crackles in the bases of the lungs, and possibly decreased O2


• Decreased JVD

4. What laboratory tests should be ordered for M.G. related to (R/T) the order for

furosemide? [c]

Furosemide 80 mg is a potent diuretic, which may cause the loss of potassium and magnesium.

These 2 electrolytes are important in maintaining a stable heart rhythm. These electrolytes will

need to be supplemented if the levels are low.

✽ Note: Most HF admissions are R/T fl uid volume overload. Patients who do not require intensive

care monitoring can most often be treated initially with IVP diuretics, O2, and angiotensin-converting

enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.

5. How do ACE inhibitors help in HF? [k]

ACE inhibitors prevent the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a potent vasoconstrictor.

This results in systemic vasodilation, thereby reducing preload (reducing the volume of blood

entering the left ventricle) and afterload (reducing the resistance to the left ventricular contraction)

in patients in HF.

✽ Instructor Note: You could tell the students that the most frequent side effect of ACE inhibitors

is a persistent, nonproductive cough. The intensity of the symptoms tends to be dose related; the

higher the dose, the more intense the cough. An important alternative medication is an angiotensin

II receptor blocker (ARB), often called “an ACE without a cough.”

Mosby items and derived items © 2009, 2005 by Mosby, Inc., an affiliate of Elsevier Inc.


chapter 1 Cardiovascular Disorders Case Study 1

6. M.G.’s symptoms improve with IV diuretics. She is ordered back on oral furosemide once

her weight loss is deemed adequate to achieve a euvolemic state. What will determine if

the oral dose will be adequate to consider her for discharge? [k]

It is critical to help the primary care provider assess whether the change from IV to oral diuretics

can maintain a stable weight. One of the fl uid management goals for patients in HF is to maintain

a target weight. This is done by monitoring daily morning weight, keeping an accurate I&O, and

recording subjective symptoms.

7. M.G. is ready for discharge. What key management concepts should be taught to prevent

relapse and another admission?

✽ Hint: Use the mnemonic MAWDS. [k]

The most essential aspect of teaching hospitalized patients without overloading them is to focus

on realistic key points. Teaching should be aimed at tips to improve symptoms and prevent

readmission. The 5 most important concepts for patients with HF are included in MAWDS


Medications: Take as directed, do not skip a dose, and do not run out of medications.

Activity: Stay as active as you can while limiting your symptoms.

Weight: Weigh every morning. Call if you gain or lose 2 pounds overnight or 5 pounds from

your target weight.

Diet: Follow a low-salt diet and limit fl uids to less than 2 quarts or liters per day.

Symptoms: Know

eBook: Winningham and Preusser’s Critical Thinking Cases in Nursing 4th 978-0323063470


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