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Cardiovascular Nursing


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What are the four layers of the heart - inner to outer?
Endocardium, Myocardium, Epicardium and the heart is surrounded by the Pericardium.
What does the vascular system comprise of?
What does the SA node do?
It is the "pacemaker" of the heart initiating the electrical impulse that makes the heart contract.
Describe Systole:
the pumping CONTRAACTION of the blood out of the heart through the ventricles.
Describe Diastole:
to dilate or expand - the time during which the hearts chambers RELAX and fill with blood.
What is BP?
BP is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Systole = as the heart beats over Diastole = as the heart relaxes between contractions.
What is the equation for BP?
What is cardiac output?
The amount of blood pumped per ventricle in 1 minute.
What is Systemic Vascular Resistance (SVR)?
Forces, such as the small arteries & arterioles that oppose the bloods movement.
What is preload?
The volume of blood in the ventricles at the end of diastole (filling). Preload determines the amount of stretch placed on myocardial fibers.
What is afterload?
Peripheral resistance against which the L ventricle must pump.
What does the SNS do in relation to regulating the cardiovascular system?
SNS increases HR, increases the speed of the impulse through the AV node and increases the force of atrial and ventricular contractions.
What does the PNS do in relation to regulating the cardiovascular system?
PSN counteracts the SNS - decreases HR and slowing of the conduction through the AV node.
What are baroreceptors?
Receptors that are sensitive to stretch & pressure. Their stimulation results in temporary inhibition of SNS = decreased HR and peripheral vasodilation. Decreased arterial pressure results in the opposite. (incr. HR and vasoconstriction)
Where are baroreceptors located?
In the arch of aorta and carotid sinus.
What are Chemoreceptors?
Nerves located in the aortic arch & carotid sinus that sense changes in O2, pH or CO2 levels in the blood. When stimulated they increase cardiac activity.
What is responsible for affecting both HR & BP?
What are the leading causes of death among the elderly in North America?
CAD (coronary artery disease)
What does an increase in age lead to? (cardiac effects)
Increase in collagen in the heart but a decrease in elastin, thus changing the contractility of the heart. As collagen degenerates, lipids build up & calcify in the aortic and mitral valves.
What are the five ausculatory areas for a thorax assessment (of the heart)?
erb's point
What is some subjective data for a cardiovascular assessment?
Past & present hx. of SOB, chest pain, syncope, edema, tobacco, ETOH, CVA, OTC drugs, herbals, steroids, illicit druge use.
What are some objective findings for a cardiovascular assessment?
Visual assessment, VS, PE, diagnostic & lab studies.
Which heart sound would you hear in a patient w/CAD?
What is a CXR for?
Chest x-ray - indicates heart size &/or possibility of increased fluid surrounding the heart.
What is a ECG for?
Electrocardiogram - assesses cardiac function through electrical conductivity study (pqrst waves).
What is an echocardiogram for?
Visualization of the heart through ultrasound.
What is an Exercise Treadmill Test for?
It evaluates cardiac function through exercise testing.
What is the most common nuclear cardiac test?
Cardiolite (sestamibi) - evaluates blood flow in different parts of the heart.
What does the PET do for cardiac testing?
Distiniguishes viable from nonviable myocardial tissue.
What is perfusion imaging?
This may be used w/exercise testing but if exercise is not tolerated, Persantine is given to stimulate vessels and the effects of exercise on the heart. No caffeine/theophylline can be given w/in 12hrs.
Name an invasive study regarding cardiac testing:
Cardiac catheterization.

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