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Alteration in the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Systems

Alteration in the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Systems

The patient in the scenario had several complaints that pointed to congestive heart failure. Her medical history is notable for congestive heart failure, and she admits to not taking her diuretics. According to Inamdar and Inamdar (2016), diuretics help the kidneys release excess salt and water, allowing the heart to pump more efficiently. It can reduce water retention and swelling, as well as treat high blood pressure. Although the patient’s failure to take her medications explains why she is experiencing congestive symptoms of heart failure (HF), it is critical to analyze the case study to explain the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary pathophysiologic processes that are causing the symptoms.

Pathophysiologic Processes Involved in Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Symptoms

The patient exhibits typical congestive symptoms of HF, a condition in which the heart muscles weaken and become incapable of pumping enough blood. When the heart is unable to pump blood effectively throughout the body, blood collects in front of the heart, causing increased pressure in the veins. This condition causes increased pressure in the pulmonary veins, which is exacerbated by the patient’s failure to take her diuretics. As a result, fluid buildup in the lungs would begin, gradually causing pulmonary edema and shortness of breath symptoms.

In addition, the patient has abdominal swelling and peripheral edema. Patients with heart failure have poor venous drainage, which results in decreased cardiac output. As a result, fluids begin to accumulate in the body, causing abdominal swelling as well as peripheral edema. According to Inamdar and Inamdar (2016), fluid buildup occurs most commonly in the peritoneal cavity and lower extremities. The symptom of weight gain is caused by an excess of fluid in the patient’s body. Diuretics can effectively treat the symptoms that the patient is experiencing.

Ethnic/racial Factors Influencing Physiological Functioning

Cognitive heart failure is the cardiovascular process that influences the patient’s symptoms in the scenario. Furthermore, ethnic or racial factors can have an impact on an individual’s physiological functioning. Ethnic/racial disparities, for example, put Black Americans at a higher risk of cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular complications as a result of proper care. Muncan (2018) contends that psychosocial and structural barriers such as health illiteracy, discrimination-related stress discrimination, provider cultural incompetence, and limited access to care can all contribute to increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Processes Interacting to Affect the Patient

Interactions between cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary pathophysiological processes can have a significant impact on patient functionality. The increased movement of fluids from the intravascular to the intestinal space would increase capillary permeability and hydrostatic capillary pressure. The intravascular volume is depleted as a result of fluids shifting into the intestinal space, such as lymphatic vessel capillaries and the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone-vasopressin system is activated, resulting in renal sodium retention (McCance et al. 2019). As a result, a fluid overload develops, causing edema and possibly causing kidney disorders, heart failure, and liver failure, limiting the patient’s mobility.


Inamdar, A. A., & Inamdar, A. C. (2016). Heart failure: diagnosis, management, and utilization. Journal of clinical medicine, 5(7), 62.

McCance, K. L., Huether, S. E., Brashers, V. L., & Rote, N. S. (Eds.). (2019). Pathophysiology: The biological basis for disease in adults and children. Elsevier.

Muncan, B. (2018). Cardiovascular disease in racial/ethnic minority populations: illness burden and overview of community-based interventions. Public health reviews, 39(1), 1-11.


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An understanding of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems is a critically important component of disease diagnosis and treatment. This importance is magnified by the fact that these two systems work so closely together. A variety of factors and circumstances that impact the emergence and severity of issues in one system can have a role in the performance of the other.

Alteration in the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Systems

Alteration in the Cardiovascular & Respiratory Systems

Effective disease analysis often requires an understanding that goes beyond these systems and their capacity to work together. The impact of patient characteristics, as well as racial and ethnic variables, can also have an important impact.

An understanding of the symptoms of alterations in cardiovascular and respiratory systems is a critical step in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. For APRNs, this understanding can also help educate patients and guide them through their treatment plans.

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