Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Practice Guidelines: Managing Chronic Heart Failure - Mosby' s Nursing Suite

With the U.S. population aging, chronic heart failure is on the rise. Now healthcare professionals must diagnose and manage this complex, life-threatening syndrome more effectively than ever. To help, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association provide complete practice guidelines for the four stages of heart failure.

The American Heart Association has identified these four stages of heart failure (HF), which complement the NYHA classifications:
  • Stage A: At high risk for HF but no structural heart disease or HF symptoms
  • Stage B: Structural heart disease but no HF signs or symptoms
  • Stage C: Structural heart disease and prior or current HF symptoms
  • Stage D: Refractory HF that requires specialized interventions

According to the guidelines, possibly the most effective and least followed general measures are close attention and follow-up. These require regular assessment, patient teaching, monitoring of adherence to the plan of care, and evaluation of the patient’s response. To help you and your colleagues align your practice with current guidelines, the following list summarizes teaching for patients with Stage C heart failure. 

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