Clinical Learning Points
Clinical Case Study Key Learning Points
Given the patient’s history with angina and cardiac conditions, there is a clear need to ensure that he does not allow bad habits to continue in addition to the careful management and monitoring of his health. The patient’s medical history also includes known diagnoses for diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. His father had also passed from heart disease, indicating a genetic predisposition to cardiac problems. The patient recently was discharged just a few days prior for a stent placement. He returned for an evaluation, claiming that his major cardiac symptoms, including crushing chest pain, shortness of breath and diaphoretic had subsided dramatically. Still, there is thought to be a high risk of future complications in regards to his cardiac health because of the fact that he has a very minimal support system in order to help him change his dietary and lifestyle habits. His wife is disabled and together the two of them are isolated from other support resources. Additionally, financial issues have been increasing the stress the patient has been experiencing, which is another indicator of potential complications in the future. However, the patient has admitted that he knows his lifestyle choices are affecting his health in a negative way, especially his over eating and excessive sleeping. He has voiced concern over potential cardiac problems in the future, which is a hopeful sign that he may begin to respond positively to interventions and suggestions for lifestyle changes, although he is clearly hesitant to do so.
The presenting diagnosis for this particular case highlighted some of the major health concerns impacting his health currently. The following tests were performed: BNP-to assist in ruling out CHF, Echocardiogram to determine heart function, Carotid ultrasound, and Lower extremity venous Doppler, and Urine Analysis. During lab testing, results discovered the presence of Carotid bruit, which is indicative of cartoid stenosis. Also, additional lab tests from this current evaluation and before he was admitted for the placement of the stent showed signs that would suggest a diagnosis of android obesity, as he had high levels of cholesteral, including an LDL level of 200. Previous lab testing from earlier visits shows a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Triglycerides were also high, at 250. Ultimately, this resulted in a diagnosis of hypercholesterolemia. Because of these diagnoses, the patient is currently on Atenolol (Tenormin XL) — 50mg QD, Atorvastatin (Lipitor) — 10mg QD, Metformin (Glucophage) — 50mg BID, and Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA) — 81mg QD.
This case presents a clear need for intervention that would establish stronger ppatient education for cardiovascular system health and prevention of future cardiac problems. Currently, the patient has limited knowledge about new treatments and lifestyle intervention choices he can make to improve his overall health condition. This essentially puts him at risk for not applying intervention methods as efficiently as if he were more knowledgeable regarding how they could help his current and future condition. The patient would benefit dramatically from increased knowledge on nutrition, diet, exercise, and other lifestyle interventions. He needs to reduce saturated fats and cholesterol in his everyday diet dramatically. Moreover, increasing his support system would help make him more accountable for his progress regarding the implementation of such lifestyle choices. Joining a support group with his wife would help increase the size and effectiveness of his support network so that his decisions to make lifestyle changes would ultimately be more impactful.
American Heart Association. (2007). Patient-teaching for cardiac nurses. Nursing, 37(10), 14-16.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Preventing High Blood Pressure: Healthy Living Habits. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/healthy_living.htm
John Hopkins Medicine. (2014). High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia). Heart & Vascular Institute. Retrieved from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/conditions_treatments/conditions/high_cholesterol.html
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