Essay about The Pathophysiology Of Congestive Heart Failure

Essay about The Pathophysiology Of Congestive Heart Failure

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The pathophysiology of congestive heart failure is a viscous cycle. It starts out by some form of heart destruction or weakening of the heart muscle, usually caused by clogged arteries due to coronary artery disease or increased pressure on the left ventricular wall from chronic long term hypertension. This dwindling of the heart decreases stroke volume. The Medical Dictionary for Health Professionals and Nurses (2012) defines stroke volume as the volume pumped out of one ventricle of the heart in a single beat. So when stroke volume goes down, cardiac output also goes down. Medicinenet.com (2016) defines cardiac output as the amount of blood the heart pumps through the circulatory system in a minute, they describe that a normal adult has a cardiac output of 4.7 liters (5 quarts) of blood per minute. The heart has a couple of compensation it will attempt to make to increase cardiac output. One of those compensations is to increase the heart rate, so if you increase the heart rate you increase the cardiac output. Health Systems of University of Michigan (2016) explains that your brain signals your heart to beat faster by sending messages to your heart 's electrical system, which controls the timing of your heartbeat. When the cardiac output is low, your adrenal glands also release more norepinephrine (adrenaline), which travels in the bloodstream and stimulates your heart to beat faster. Although beating faster helps to maintain cardiac output as the stroke volume falls, the fast heart rate can itself weaken the heart muscle over time. Another compensation that we can see by the heart during congestive heart failure is structural changes. These structural changes in the heart muscle are in attempts to increase stroke volume. One ...


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...lure proceeds you could end up with volume overload. If it is the left side of the heart that failed first, then the blood will be waiting to be let in the left side of the heart. Blood waiting around in the lung starts seeping into the tissues, in the lungs it causes pulmonary congestion. If it is the right side of the heart that fail’s first. Or the heart failure starts in the left side and progresses to the right sided congestive heart failure the blood is waiting in the periphery to get in the right side of the heart, in this case the blood is draining from the head which may cause jugular distention, or it may be blood in the lower legs seeping out the tissues causing swollen ankles and edema or peripheral edema. The compensatory methods cause a continued weaker heart and decrease in cardiac output causing a viscous cycle for the congestive heart failure patient.

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