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The client in the coronary care unit, status post-anterior myocardial infarction (MI), has been diagnosed with heart failure. A pulmonary artery (PA) catheter has been placed. The PA pressure is 30/15 mmHg and the client has mild crackles. The nurse knows from this reading that the client is experiencing:

1. Right heart failure.
2. Left heart failure.
3. Both right and left failure.
4. Pulmonary edema.


Left heart failure produces increased pulmonary congestion and therefore elevated pulmonary artery pressures. A normal PA is 25/10 mmHg. Pink, frothy sputum and exaggerated symptoms would be present for pulmonary edema to be diagnosed. Right-sided heart failure includes signs of peripheral edema. The key in the question is the presence of crackles, which would be associated with left failure.


Member since: April 2011
(Boynton Beach,FL) Original question source

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Topics: Adult Health: Cardiovascular, Nursing Process: Analysis

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