People that have high blood pressure for a long time may be diagnosed with Right Sided Heart Failure or Cor Pulmonale. Cor Pulmonale is caused from high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries including the right ventricle. Thus causing right sided heart failure. Healthcare Professionals should consider taking an ACLS class to enhance their knowledge of the heart and the algorithms to treat the many types of heart arrhythmias.
* Anterior Chest Pain (Angina)
* Unable to tolerate Exercises
* Difficulty Breathing (hypoxia)
* Edema of the feet and ankles
* Manifestation of symptoms of underlying conditions (coughing, wheezing)
After diagnosis of Cor Pulmonale the physician will provide treatment to the condition that may be causing Cor Pulmonale. Such as supplemental oxygen, medications may include Sildenafil by mouth, Calcium channel blockers, Prostacyclin via injection or inhalation, anti-coagulants, or surgery to hopefully correct the defect of the heart if indicated. Physicians, nurses and paramedics that are in direct patient care of critically ill patients are required to take an ACLS class and become certified in ACLS, Advanced Cardiac Life Support. The class focuses on CPR and medications used to treat heart arrhythmias and other causes of life threatening conditions.
Some causes of Cor Pulmonale include Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, leaving the right ventricle unable to pump blood against the high pressure that is created. Under normal circumstances the left side of the heart has a higher blood pressure in order to pump blood to the body. The right side of the heart that pumps blood to the lungs has a lower blood pressure. People that have lung diseases that causes an excessive amount of low oxygen levels are at high risk of developing Cor Pulmonale. The ACLS class provides the medical professional with an extensive amount of knowledge about intervening in life threatening situations in hopes of providing a healthier outcome.
There are a few tests that will help the physician diagnose a person with Cor Pulmonale. The physician will start with an exam and listen for abnormal heart sounds, inspect the abdomen for any fluid that may be accumulating, inspect the neck veins for distention, inspect the feet and ankles for any swelling (edema), or palpate the abdomen and check for enlargement of the liver. The tests that are used may include blood tests (antibody, BNP), chest x-ray, CT scan of the chest, lung biopsy, echocardiogram, blood gas test (ABG), pulmonary function exam, heart catheterization of the right side of the heart, or VQ scan of the lungs. The nurses in the Intensive Care Unit setting are required to attend an ACLS class and are certified in providing care to critically ill patients.
The outcome and prognosis of Cor Pulmonale depends upon the condition and seeking early treatment. The most common things to do to prevent Cor Pulmonale include cessation of cigarette smoking, examinations from physicians on a regular basis, and having children checked early for heart defects that may lead to Cor Pulmonale. In any event, when having shortness of breath or chest discomfort always call 911, as these professionals have taken an ACLS class and are well qualified and well equipped to handle medical emergencies.