Operating Room Nurses Must Know Heart Failure Guidelines

Working knowledge of guidelines helps in care of surgical heart treatment patients
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative nurses caring for patients requiring surgical treatment for heart failure need a working knowledge of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic heart failure, according to an article in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

Janet D. Pierce, of the University of Kansas in Kansas City, and colleagues review heart failure pathophysiology, including left-sided and right-sided failure related to systolic and diastolic dysfunction, as well as classifications and treatment.

The article describes the implications for perioperative nurses caring for patients undergoing or recovering from surgical procedures to treat heart failure, such as ensuring patients taking anticoagulation medication stop taking it prior to surgery, and checking that preventive measures are taken to protect patients against peripheral edema and deep vein thrombosis during the perioperative period.

"Knowledge regarding the pathophysiology and treatment of heart failure continues to increase. The ACC/AHA heart failure guidelines help health care providers treat and more effectively manage patients with heart failure," the authors write. "Perioperative nurses must be prepared to manage patients with heart failure as they undergo surgery. Understanding surgical therapies for heart failure helps perioperative nurses improve the surgical outcomes for these patients."

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