Heart Failure

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Heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart becomes weak and does not pump blood efficiently. The dysfunction can occur in the left chambers of the heart or the chambers on the right or even both. When it occurs on the left, the problem is that the muscle is unable to pump well enough to have blood reach all areas of the body. When the problem is on the right, the muscle is unable to pump well enough for the blood to reach the lungs to make it oxygen-rich. Major signs and symptoms include dyspnea (fainting), edema (swelling), and fatigue. Less common symptoms, yet just as serious, include breathlessness, decreased appetite, nausea, confusion or memory impairment, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (choking/shortness of breath at…show more content…
That is the use of multiple medications by one single patient. The problem occurs when two medications have adverse reactions when combined. Physicians are able to control this dilemma if they are the only doctor the patient sees. However, if the patient is receiving prescriptions from several doctors, the risk of a medication error significantly increases. The risk is also increased if a physician has a patient who is confused about the proper way to take the medication. The patient could accidentally overdose. Also, elderly patients tend to forget to take their medications or get confused on when or how to take them. This could potentially be as fatal as an overdose. According to research done by David Phillips, in 1983 2,876 people died due to medication errors. In 1993, the death toll rose to 7,391. It is not only a problem for outpatients; inpatients are victims of human error as well. Oftentimes when hospitals are understaffed and over worked, healthcare workers tend to make simple mistakes that cause not so simple problems for the patients’ wellbeing. In addition to polypharmacy, medication mix-ups are common. For example, in his article, “Medication Errors”, Michael Cohen explains how similar packaging can appear for prescription medications. He gives an example of a nurse whose patient needed eye drops. She collected a clear, single dose container which she thought was the Hypotears PF she…show more content…
The natural method proposed is that of the companion of an animal. Humans have considered canines to be “man’s best friend” for some time now but in addition to fellowship, it has been proven that animals can have positive effects on much more. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is defined by Horowitz as “a goal directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process…Such applications are designed to promote improvement in a patients’ physical, cognitive, emotional, and/or social functioning.” In a study conducted by Kathie Cole, et al, seventy-six adults diagnosed with heart failure were divided into three groups. Group one received animal assisted therapy (AAT) which included a volunteer and a dog, group two received visits from only a volunteer and the third group, the control group, received only their usual interaction. Cole, et al, states, “Compared with controls, the volunteer-dog group had significantly greater decreases in systolic pulmonary artery pressure during and after and in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure during and after the intervention. Compared with the volunteer only group, the volunteer-dog group had significantly greater decreases in epinephrine levels during and after and in norepinephrine during and after the intervention. After the intervention,

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