Discussion: Cardiovascular Alterations
At least once a year, the media report on a seemingly healthy teenage athlete collapsing during a sports game and dying of heart complications. These incidents continue to outline the importance of physical exams and health screenings for teenagers, especially those who play sports. During these health screenings, examiners check for cardiovascular alterations such as heart murmurs because they can be a sign of an underlying heart disorder. Since many heart alterations rarely have symptoms, they are easy to miss if health professionals are not specifically looking for them. Once cardiovascular alterations are identified in patients, it is important to refer them to specialists who can further investigate the cause.
Consider the following scenario:
A 16-year-old male presents for a sports participation examination. He has no significant medical history and no family history suggestive of risk for premature cardiac death. The patient is examined while sitting slightly recumbent on the exam table and the advanced practice nurse appreciates a grade II/VI systolic murmur heard loudest at the apex of the heart. Other physical findings are within normal limits, the patient denies any cardiovascular symptoms, and a neuromuscular examination is within normal limits. He is cleared with no activity restriction. Later in the season he collapses on the field and dies.
· Review the scenario provided, Consider how you would diagnose and prescribe treatment for the patient.
· Select one of the following patient factors: genetics, ethnicity, or behavior. Reflect on how the factor you selected might impact diagnosis and prescription of treatment for the patient in the scenario.
Post a description of how you would diagnose and prescribe treatment for the patient in the scenario. Then explain how the factor you selected might impact the diagnosis and prescription of treatment for that patient.
Use resource below for reference
Huether, S. E., & McCance, K. L. (2017). Understanding pathophysiology (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
- Chapter 23, “Structure and Function of the Cardiovascular and Lymphatic Systems”
This chapter examines the circulatory system, heart, systemic circulation, and lymphatic system to establish a foundation for normal cardiovascular function. It focuses on the structure and function of various parts of the circulatory system to illustrate normal blood flow.
- Chapter 24, “Alterations of Cardiovascular Function”
This chapter presents the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, evaluation, and treatment of various cardiovascular disorders. It focuses on diseases of the veins and arteries, disorders of the heart wall, heart disease, and shock.
What are Cardiovascular alterations?
Cardiovascular alterations refer to any changes or abnormalities in the function or structure of the heart and blood vessels. These alterations can include various conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, heart failure, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), and congenital heart defects, among others.
Hypertension is a common cardiovascular alteration characterized by persistently high blood pressure, which can lead to damage to blood vessels, the heart, and other organs over time. Coronary artery disease involves the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, leading to reduced blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart muscle. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Arrhythmias can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the heart’s structure that are present at birth.
Cardiovascular alterations can have various causes, including genetics, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases, surgical procedures. Preventive measures such as regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking can also help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular alterations.