Nursing diagnosis for cardiac arrest

Nursing Diagnosis for Cardiac Arrest-A Student’s Guide

Introduction

Cardiac arrest can happen at any time, and it requires quick action if the person is going to survive. This piece discusses different nursing diagnoses used when a patient suffers from cardiac arrest. It also reviews what needs to be done for cardiac arrest and the importance of early intervention to increase survival rates.

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Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is not medical advice; it is meant to act as a quick guide to nursing students, for learning purposes only, and should not be applied without an approved physician’s consent. Please consult a registered doctor in case you’re looking for medical advice.

Cause of Cardiac Arrest:

  • The most common cause of cardiac arrest is a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the coronary artery is blocked, and no blood can get to your heart. With a lack of blood, the heart muscle begins to die, and this stops the pumping of blood.
  • Complication from surgery. This generally happens in unhealthy people before undergoing any surgical procedure because it puts too much strain on their bodies. It also happens to those with certain genetic diseases like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or Marfan syndrome.
  • Complication from other conditions such as anaphylaxis, pneumonia, or septic shock. This is also known as acute cardiac failure, and it occurs when the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen.
  • Electrical shocks to the chest are another cause of this heart disease. This happens when the person has just been defibrillated and is not breathing on their own, or if they are resurrected with a machine that sends electrical pulses to try and stimulate the heart muscle. The impact of these processes causes cardiac arrest as a result of the lack of oxygen.
  • Cardiac arrest can also be caused by some medications, such as those used during open-heart surgery. Doctors will ask patients if they have any allergies before starting the operation so that there is no risk for this type of complication to occur. Eventually, cardiac arrest can be caused by a combination of two or more causes.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest:

There are many vital signs that can be associated with cardiac arrest. The most common symptom is loss of consciousness as well as no breathing or pulse. Other signs include

  • Blue lips
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Shortness in breath
  • Decrease in blood pressure reading on an EKG machine.

When you notice such symptoms, the first thing that needs to be done is to call 911. The person in need of help should then receive CPR while waiting for medical professionals, and it’s important not to stop performing CPR until the ambulance arrives.

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Common Nursing Diagnosis for Cardiac Arrest

Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and fear is a common symptom in people who suffer from cardiac arrest. It can be caused by the event itself, as well as the consequences of it. Treating anxiety or fear with reassurance will help to decrease its symptoms. Fear and anxiety may be related to stereotypes of cardiac arrest being fatal and lead to loss and death.

Anxiety and fear for people with a cardiac arrest can also be related to the effect on the quality of life. This can happen when physical functioning is limited or after a cardiac arrest, as well as with any condition that limits their ability to function normally.

Fear and anxiety among patients with myocardial infarction are possibly evidenced by a number of factors as listed below:

  • Behavioral symptoms linked to fear and anxiety.
  • Expressions of concern linked to current and future events.
  • Violence noticed through acts like fighting.
  • Somatic complications like headaches and stomachaches
  • Mood-related symptoms like depression, anger, or mood swings.
  • Anxiety is also one of the many emotions that someone with heart disease may experience in response to a diagnosis.
  • The American Heart Association says, “Many people feel anxious about their sudden loss of control over life’s basic necessities.”

The nursing care for fear and anxiety and patients with myocardial infarction include:

  • Reassurance.
  • Talking to the person about fears, worries or concerns can be helpful.
  • Some people find it beneficial to have their family near them.
  • Asking the person what would help.
  • Offering ways for the patient to feel in control of themselves or their environment, such as having a say in decisions that affect them.

Acute Pain

Pain is a common symptom in people who suffer from cardiac arrest, and it can be related to a heart attack or injury caused by resuscitation efforts. Gentle touch and reassurance will help decrease pain for these patients.

For patients experiencing acute post-cardiac arrest pain, gentle touch and reassurance will help decrease their symptoms to a degree. Nurses need to identify when there might be more than one cause of the pain because that may lead them to different interventions. This would involve looking at other possible causes of pain, such as a heart attack or injury from resuscitation efforts.

Acute pain makes the patient feel more anxious and afraid, which can make the pain worse. If left uncontrolled, it can lead to chronic pain if the cause is not found. Nursing care for acute pain include;

  • Reassurance
  • Gentle touch and empathy.
  • Treating the underlying cause of the pain.
  • Maximizing analgesia
  • Minimize movement – this will help decrease and manage any residual discomfort or sensation from cardiac arrest.

Activity Intolerance

Patients who suffer from cardiac arrest often experience an increased need for rest or decreased activity tolerance. Activity intolerance is related to the person’s heart rate, breathing, and oxygenation levels being low after their cardiac event.

With activity intolerance, patients may need more rest or decreased activity. This is due to the person’s heart rate, breathing, and oxygenation levels being low after their cardiac event. Moreover, this condition may result in poor skin integrity and mobility issues.

Finally, activity intolerance may be related to the heart’s inability to pump enough blood. This makes the patient feel fatigued and weak, meaning they will be less likely to participate in any activity.

Nursing interventions for this condition include:

  • Reassurance and explaining the reasons behind the need for rest or decreased activity; educating patients about how their heart works, what symptoms they might experience with a cardiac arrest, and so on.
  • Encouraging bright light (as it will help with mood).
  • Encouraging deep breathing to help improve oxygenation levels.
  • Encouraging the patient to do some light activities while sitting or lying down, such as guided imagery for a favorite place; listening to music that makes them happy and relaxed; coloring in pictures of animals they like; watching television shows about calm people and peace.
  • Planning a restful sleep schedule, with more restful sleep during the day and early evening hours.
  • Providing an informal family visit- taking turns so that they can spend time with their loved ones while still getting some much-needed rest.
  • Using a bedside commode to decrease the patient’s need for activity and promote independence.

Cardiac Arrhythmia (Atrial Fibrillation)

A cardiac arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that occurs when the patient’s heart beats too slow or too fast. This can be related to a person’s cardiovascular health and will affect their recovery time. Nursing interventions for this condition include:

Reassurance; explaining what atrial fibrillation is and how it can be controlled with medication; educating the patient about their need for a care plan that includes taking medications correctly.

Encouraging them to use healthy coping mechanisms, such as relaxation techniques or deep breathing exercises.

Offering reassurance and empathy, which will help reduce anxiety levels related to atrial fibrillation.

Risk for Excess Fluid Volume

Excess Fluid volume means that the patient’s body is retaining fluids, which can result in swelling. This symptom of cardiac arrest happens because heart function and blood circulation are impaired after a person goes into cardiac arrest. The nursing interventions include:

Nurses and other medical practitioners are tasked to encourage patients to drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic clear liquids until any excess fluid volume is gone.

Excess fluid volume is common in patients who suffer from cardiac arrest because their circulation may be impeded due to shock or CPR. Nurses must know how this can cause problems with other diagnoses like anxiety and fear, and they should monitor fluid volume carefully.

Nurses need to be aware of how excess fluids can lead to other problems like anxiety or fear. Monitoring the patient’s fluid intake is important to prevent any serious consequences from this problem. The nursing interventions include:

  • Assessing the patient’s fluid intake and output.
  • Restricting fluids for patients at risk of developing heart failure, excess fluid volume, or pulmonary edema.

Risk for Decreased Cardiac Output

A Decreased Cardiac Output means that the heart is not pumping enough blood to keep the organs and tissues healthy. This can cause a decrease in cardiac output, leading to other diagnoses like pain or activity intolerance. Nursing interventions include:

Monitoring for these symptoms by looking at vital signs, including oxygenation levels and pulse oximetry readings.

Monitoring changes in the patient’s level of consciousness.

Decreased cardiac output is possible after an episode of cardiac arrest and may be related to the injury or heart attack. The patient could experience a decrease in oxygenation as well. Nurses need to monitor these symptoms because they can affect other diagnoses like activity intolerance or pain, which are very common after a traumatic event.

Nurses should be aware of how a decreased cardiac output can affect other diagnoses like pain or activity intolerance. Monitoring for this symptom is necessary to prevent any serious consequences from it happening. This monitoring is usually conducted by checking the patient’s oxygen saturation levels or heart rate. The nursing interventions include:

  • Monitoring the patient’s oxygen saturation levels or heart rate.
  • Providing assistance with ambulation to reduce fatigue, which is common after cardiac arrest.

Ineffective Tissue Perfusion

Ineffective tissue perfusion is a diagnosis that can occur in patients who experience cardiac arrest because their circulation may be impeded due to shock or CPR. Nurses need to know how this could lead to other diagnoses like anxiety and fear.

Nurses need to know how ineffective tissue perfusion could lead to other diagnoses like anxiety or fear, so they should be monitoring the patient’s fluid intake to prevent any serious consequences from this problem. In most health setups, patient fluid intake is monitored by checking their fluid balance, which is also referred to as body weight. The nursing interventions include:

  • Monitoring the patient’s fluid balance by checking their weight.
  • Providing assistance with ambulation to reduce fatigue, which is common after cardiac arrest.

Ineffective Airway Clearance

Patients with cardiac arrest are likely experiencing ineffective airway clearance because the process of breathing may be affected by injury or CPR efforts. This could lead to other diagnoses like pneumonia and a decrease in oxygenation levels. Nurses should be aware of how these symptoms can affect other diagnoses to get worse.

Nurses should be aware that ineffective airway clearance could lead to pneumonia and decreased oxygenation levels, two severe problems obtained after myocardial infarction. The nursing interventions include;

  • Monitoring the patient’s respiratory status to take care of any underlying issue that’s causing the problem.
  • Providing assistance with ambulation to reduce fatigue, which is common after cardiac arrest.

Ineffective Gastrointestinal Tract Motility

Patients with cardiac arrest are likely experiencing ineffective gastrointestinal tract motility because their autonomic nervous system may be affected by injury or CPR efforts, leading to other diagnoses like abdominal distension and vomiting. Nurses need to watch out for these symptoms to make sure that they don’t worsen.

Ineffective Gastrointestinal Tract Motility is called for when patients are experiencing abdominal distension and vomiting, which is often caused by cardiovascular problems. Nurses need to watch out for these symptoms so that they don’t get worse or result from other diagnoses.

Nurses should know how ineffective gastrointestinal tract motility could lead to abdominal distension and vomiting, which are two severe diagnoses obtained after myocardial infarction. The nursing interventions include;

  • Monitoring the patient’s GI status to take care of any underlying problem that may be causing it.
  • Monitoring the patient’s blood sugar levels to avoid hypoglycemia from malnourishment or other diagnoses.
  • Monitoring the patient’s blood sugar levels to prevent hypoglycemia from malnourishment often caused by cardiovascular problems and other diagnoses like anxiety and fear.
  • Providing assistance with ambulation to reduce fatigue, which is common after cardiac arrest.

Ineffective Thermoregulation

Patients with cardiac arrest are likely experiencing ineffective thermoregulation because their autonomic nervous system may be affected by injury or CPR efforts. This could lead to other diagnoses like decreased body temperature and hypothermia, which nurses need to monitor to prevent serious consequences.

Nurses should know how ineffective thermoregulation could decrease body temperature and hypothermia, which are two dire diagnoses obtained after myocardial infarction. The nursing interventions include;

  • Monitoring the patient’s core temperature to take care of any underlying problem causing this particular symptom.

Impaired Skin Integrity

Patients with cardiac arrest are likely experiencing impaired skin integrity because their autonomic nervous system may be affected by injury or CPR efforts, leading to other diagnoses like delayed healing. Nurses need to monitor this symptom to prevent any serious consequences from happening.

Nurses should be aware of how ineffective skin integrity can worsen delayed healing and lead to other diagnoses like pressure ulcers, which are two severe problems obtained after myocardial infarction. The nursing intervention for this is;

  • Monitoring the patient’s skin integrity to take care of any underlying problem that may be causing it.

Impaired Oral Mucous Membrane

Patients with cardiac arrest are likely experiencing impaired oral mucous membrane because their autonomic nervous system may be affected by injury or CPR efforts, leading to other diagnoses like dysphagia. This would affect the patient’s eating ability, which is important for any post-myocardial infarction care plan. Nurses should monitor this symptom to prevent any serious consequences from happening.

Nurses should be aware of how impaired oral mucous membrane can worsen dysphagia and, if this happens, the patient may not have a good swallow reflex. This is an important diagnosis of post-myocardial infarction because it could lead to other diagnoses like pneumonia or respiratory infection, which are two dire diagnoses obtained after myocardial infarction. Monitoring the oral mucous membrane is the main nursing intervention for this condition. This intervention takes care of any underlying problem that may be causing the impaired oral mucous membrane.

Importance of Early Intervention for Cardiac Arrest

The importance of early intervention for cardiac arrest is to prevent any serious consequences from happening. Early interventions include:

Monitoring the patient’s GI status, thermoregulation, skin integrity, and oral mucous membrane to take care of any underlying problem causing these symptoms and preventing them from worsening. This will help nurses find the root cause of the problem and make sure that it does not lead to other diagnoses.

Cardiac arrests are usually caused by either a heart attack or something else, which could also worsen after an arrest. Early interventions should be made to prevent serious consequences with these patients because they may have many physical signs like decreased body temperature and impaired skin integrity. Nurses should be aware of this to prevent any serious consequences because nursing interventions are important for patients with cardiac arrest.

Early intervention for cardiac arrest prevents serious consequences for patients with a heart attack or something else, which can worsen after an arrest. Nursing interventions are important for these patients because they may have many physical signs like decreased body temperature and impaired skin integrity. Nurses should be aware of this to prevent any serious consequences, which is why early intervention is so important for these patients who had a cardiac arrest.

Early nursing intervention is also crucial for patients with cardiac arrest because of the many physical signs they may have, like decreased body temperatures and impaired skin integrity. Nurses look for and use these signs in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction.

Preventive Measures

Post-Myocardial Infarction

Nursing intervention for post-myocardial infarct diagnosis is making sure that the patient has a good swallow reflex. This will help prevent any aspiration that could eventually lead to pneumonia or respiratory infection, which are two serious diagnoses obtained after myocardial infarct. Thermoregulation is also important for post-myocardial infarct because it can lead to a patient being hypothermic. Nurses should be aware of these side effects and take the appropriate action to prevent them from happening.

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Summary

Cardiac arrest is a condition that is not often discussed in nursing, and as a result, there is only limited knowledge on the topic. Post-myocardial infarction diagnosis should be taken care of with interventions like monitoring for impaired oral mucous membranes or taking appropriate action to prevent aspiration that could eventually lead to pneumonia or respiratory infection – two serious diagnoses obtained after myocardial infarct. Nurses should be aware of these side effects and take the appropriate action to prevent them from happening with post-myocardial infarction patients by either monitoring for impaired oral mucous membranes or taking preventive measures like giving treatments that will allow a patient’s swallow reflex to work properly.

Nurses should be aware of these side effects and take the appropriate action to prevent them with post-myocardial infarction patients by either monitoring for impaired oral mucous membranes or taking preventive measures like giving treatments that will allow a patient’s swallow reflex to work as expected.

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