Sample Nursing Paper on Heart Failure


In recent time, the heart failure disease (HF) is advancing to be a global epidemic that results in substantive mortality in the population. In addition, heart failure contributes immensely to an increased cost of healthcare expenditures and also it’s a burden to the families affected. In the last three decades, there has been significant milestones in the treatment of heart failure with aldosterone antagonists, resynchronization therapy, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and beta receptor blockers. Nevertheless, the epidemic is still attributed to weak prognosis. Nevertheless, it has been approximated that half of the people diagnosed with heart failure demise within their first 5 years of treatment. Therefore, the major challenge is the search for better treatment of HF. In-depth comprehension, of the humoral perturbation and molecular compositions, will ultimately lead to fewer heart failure this paper, pathophysiology, pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention strategies of HF are discussed in detail.

Heart failure is a fatal and long-term illness that progressively gets worse over some time. The heart failure advances when the heart fails to pump blood throughout the body with the rate proportionate to the essentials of the metabolizing tissues (Azad& Lemay 2014). In this case, the heart is only able to pump blood under the conditioning of an elevated diastolic filling pressure. In addition, heart failure is highly characterized by abnormalities such as cardiac, renal, skeletal muscle, nervous system and neurohormonal changes (Eckel, et al 2014). The primary basis of the failure is the abnormality of the left ventricular function. This led to falling to a malfunctioning of the cardiac system. The fall of the cardiac system often leads to stimulation of neurohormonal mechanisms that reinforce the mechanical environment of the cardiac addition, the activation of the sympathetic system tries to assist the cardiac system from falling out in case of impairment of left ventricle function. In an attempt to prevent the fallout, the heart rate is increased, increased catecholamine, increased myocardial contractility (Tham, et al 2015) Also, activation of renin system (RAAS) also causes vasoconstriction and increase volumes of blood, In this case, salt and water are preserved. Nevertheless, the cardiac dilatation and alterations progressively occur in the cardiac system (Yancy, et al 2013)

Medical attention for heart failure calls for different types of interventions to successfully cure it. The intervention strategy primarily depend s on the severity of the illness. There are two kinds of therapies; pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies (Florea &Cohn 2014.) Pharmacologic therapy includes the use of vasodilators, diuretics, inotropic agents, anticoagulants, beta blockers, and digoxin. On the other hand, non-pharmacologic  therapies include appropriate physical activities, dietary sodium and fluid restriction and attention to weight gain .In addition, more advanced therapies of cardiac failure include pacemakers, cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), revascularization procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), ventricular restoration and valve replacement and repair (Doehner, Frenneaux& Anker 2014.) There are three main forces reinforces the process of chronic heart failure, these are intrinsic myocardial damage, abnormality of the left ventricle, and other extrinsic factors that affect the heart itself.

Initiation of Heart Failure

Most of the cases of heart failure are caused by ischemia and infarction resulting in coronary artery disease (Basuray, et al 2014.) Other possible causes of heart failure include autoimmune infections, injuries metabolic and toxic insults. These toxic and metabolic substances include hyperthyroidism, alcohol toxicity, and doxorubicin toxicity. Extrinsic heart failure causes include anemia and arteriovenous fistula .In addiction, extrinsic causes are essential to identify since they are often fully reversible if identified early. An abnormal load in the cardiac system are caused by chronic blood pressures (Lymperopoulos, Rengo& Koch 2013)

Progression of Heart Failure

The mechanism behind the progression of the heart failure is basically ventricular remodeling after the initial insult. It’s crucial to note that, the initial; insult sets on a pace of destructive cycle where normal myocardium is severely altered resulting to hypertrophy and fibrosis (Desai , et al 2015).In addition, these cellular alterations led to changes in the in the structural features of the ventricle via the process known as remodeling. Therefore, remodeling often leads to the less efficient functioning of the heart thereby resulting in acute development of heart failure. Systemic is the main source of the pressure in the heart (Cruz, et al 2014). This results in reactivation of growth inhibitors that are present in the embryonic heart but absent in an adult heart. These factors act as a catalyst since they reinforce manufacturing of protein and myocyte growth. As a result, the myocytes increase in size while their numbers remain constant. This results in hypertrophy of the ventricle. With time diastolic dysfunction and systolic dysfunction causes the ventricle to be large, dilated and poor contraction (Segura, Frazier & Buja 2014).Another factor that sets in remodeling into motion is the myocardial infarction. In this case, the irreversibly injured myocardium ceases to function resulting in an overload of the remaining myocardium. This overload led to ventricular remodeling and subsequent dilation of the heart, thereby resulting in full ventricular dysfunction.

Pharmacological Intervention

ACE inhibitors

Comprehension of the fundamental mechanisms that cause the progressive heart failure, has resulted in the development of various pharmacological interventions. Among these interventions are inhibitors of the mediators that are involved in vasoconstriction and inefficient processes in the heart failure. The ACE inhibitors and angiotensin –II receptor antagonists inhibit renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system which has contributed positively to the treatment of chronic heart failure. In the last 2 decades, it has resulted in the improvement of the treatment of both the symptoms and the disease (Clark, Fonarow, & Horwich 2014. Recent studies have shown that patients with asymptomatic systolic dysfunction greatly benefit from this ACE-1 therapy. In addition, these agents not only helps in improvement of the hemodynamics but also exhibit the ability to slow the progression rate of myocardial damage at the tissue level, also it favorably alters remodeling.( Senni, et al 2014)


In pharmacologic interventions, inhibition of neuroendocrine is possible whereβ-blockers are used to treat heart failure. The Nonselective beta-blocker is used to ease the symptoms and the systolic components of the heart to prolong life. Beta- blockers work by decelerating the heart rate which permits the left ventricle to fill completely and propel blood more efficiently (Mann& Felker 2014). Further, it also works well in opening or widening of the blood vessels to allow more blood to flow. Examples of beta blockers include metoprolol, bisoprolol, and carvedilol

The Mechanical unloading

The utilization of implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has illuminated more light in the study and treatment of the HF. In the research done by the Texas heart institute they found out that LVAD was possible to support the life of the patients for 503 days (Ponikowski, et al 2014). Additionally, the patient succumbed to neurologic complexities, recent studies have shown that LVAD support can assist the patients for more than 30 days. It improves it improves hemodynamics and histologic markers of the cardiac system such as endocytosis. However, other studies suggest that LVAD support improves the phenotype of fibrosis and pathologic hypertrophy. Therefore, alteration of the hemodynamics slows the progression of a heart failure and it reverses maladaptive processes (Roger 2013). The outcome of these studies might help to understand and establish the terminal threshold that terminates the functioning of the left ventricular system.

Genetics of heart failure

Selected forms of heart failure are attributed to genetic factors. At least 20% of the cases of heart failure are thought to have directly to an inherited genetic defects (Zhao, et al 2017). The dystrophin gene is linked to x-linked cardiomyopathy heart addition, familial cardiomyopathy is linked to gene mutations such as the B-myosin heavy chain, cardio troponin- T and α – tropomyosin, myosin –binding protein C and myosin light chains 1 and 2 (Heinemann&Vogel 2016). However, innovative programs are being pursued in order to take the full advantage of the current knowledge of the relationship of the genetics and a heart disease. Research is underway to map all forms of inherited cardiomyopathy and provides the most accurate prognostic information and assists in planning therapeutic programs. In addition, the emphasis is on introducing genes in myocyte to facilitate the cell division in order to replace damaged myocardium with new myocytes (Fitchet, et al 2016)

Nonpharmacological HF Intervention Strategies

Diet and nutrition

Patients diagnosed with heart failure control the amount of salt in their food. The recommended salt content is less than 2000mg. These patients also have the fluid restriction of 1500ml-2000ml. In this case, the salt substitute is advised although it must also be used with caution as they may contain some elements of potassium. In cases of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, alcohol consumption is not allowed. In special cases, alcohol intake is addition, it is commendable for these patients to incorporate weight reduction strategy by avoiding foods that contain high contents of cholesterol and other fats. The body max index should be less than 25 (Kanda,et al 2017). This will assist in preventing the cases of cardiac cachexia and malnutrition.

Rest and exercise

Traditionally, patients diagnosed with heart failure were instructed not to perform any exercise to avoid the ailment deterioration. However, recent studies have shown that physical exercise mitigates the effects of acute heart failure if the patient is in a stable condition, the patient is advised to undertake daily physical exercises, but it’s also advisable for the patient to follow the physical exercise instructions from the physician. (Hinton &Ware 2017) In addition, the exercise training decreases the circulation of catecholamine levels, and oxidative effects, and increase nitric oxide which led to minimized peripheral vasoconstriction, improved endothelial function, and enhanced endothelial repair. Physical exercises also combat muscle wasting and restore the catabolic imbalance. There is a significant evidence that training programs in HF patients are safe and they induce favorable clinical effects (Zaidi& Brueckner 2017).

The Improved symptom recognition and self-care behavior.

Patients and their partners have a right to information in regard to HF symptoms, this will assist patients to promptly identify deterioration and apply the relevant strategy in case of an exacerbation. In addition, patients are supposed to weigh on a regular basis, so that unexpected weight gain can be addressed in time. In this case, patients are encouraged to monitor other probable symptoms and note the changes. Physicians have an important role to play in creating awareness of the seriousness of these symptoms and the appropriate actions to take (Frestad& Prescott 2017).In addition other self-care measures to These includes discouraging smoking for patients who are diagnosed with HF, immunization of influenza and pneumococcal as this may reduce infections of respiratory system, stress reduction therapies are also advised for reduction of anxiety to in patients suffering from HF (Thiene, Corrado & Basso 2016.)

In conclusion, our comprehension of the pathophysiology of heart failure is important in recent advances in the therapeutic management in this discipline. The pathophysiology of the failure of the cardiac system has unfolded over the last 30 years. New strategies and advances have yielded positive therapeutic changes. However, the newest research has found the mechanism that contributes to the advancement of a heart failure. Thereby, mitigating the negative effects of the cardiac failure. This is done through an  alteration of the molecular level changes in the myocyte and on the prevention of cellular morphologic However, future therapies of mitigating on heart failure will likely encompass multifaceted framework to the multiple and complicated components that contribute to the progression of the disease. Through research, some significant advances have been made in elucidating the genetic factors that contribute the onset and the progression of the HF. In addition, further study is needed to establish the patients who are at risk and ultimately engage more protective therapies. Therefore, new innovations in long-term interventions and development of extensive medical therapies that slow or reverse the cardiac system failure are generally helping to curb the heart failure thereby illuminating our vision for the future.



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