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Congestive cardiac failure and its nursing management

Congestive cardiac failure or simply heart failure is medical condition characterized by inability of the heart to provide sufficient amounts of blood for the body. This condition can be professionally managed, in order to decrease problems with overworked heart and to minimize venous congestion in the body, both of which should prevent further health problems.

Nursing Management in Heart Failure

Adequate rest, proper diet, oxygen therapy, physical therapy and observation are common methods for treatment of patients suffering from congestive cardiac failure.

Proper rest is extremely important for patients suffering from heart failure, since it can decrease the need for oxygen and workload of the heart. Until his or her condition improves, the patient should avoid any physical activity. Only when the edema drastically improves and decreases should these patients be allowed to participate in their personal care. Proper rest in this case involves rest before and after the meals, as well as rest between the procedures.
Low sodium and low fat diet and reduced intake of fluids must be every heart failure patient’s goals. This type of diet is not very tasteful, but it is required to reduce the swelling (edema), overeating and also overweight in these patients and decrease workload of the heart. Patients should take about 150ml of fluids per day, in order to reduce edema. Constipation is problem that must be prevented in heart failure patients, using either mild laxatives or mild oil enemas.

Patients suffering from respiratory problems due to pulmonary congestion may need some oxygen therapy. This should be helpful to relieve dyspnea and improve amount of oxygen available for the tissues.

Physical care includes help performing oral hygiene, treatment of the pressure areas and proper positioning of heart failure patients.
Observation of vital signs, regular check up of respiration and blood pressure, as well as regular control of the signs of electrolyte imbalance are necessary for heart failure patients. Changes in the facial expression and color, location and degree of edemas and other changes and preferences should also be noted.

Heart Failure Rehabilitation

Activities of the patient should be performed according to his or her tolerance and must be progressively increased in accordance with ability of the heart. The patient must be regularly supervised by a medical professional and both the patients and his family should be aware of that fact. Medications side effects should be clearly explained to the patient, as well as requirements of their diet and allowed physical activity.

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