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Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing:
Articles

Optimizing Therapy for Heart Failure Patients: Cardiac Resynchronization and Defibrillator Therapy

Jensen, Scot B. PA-C; Galvin, Catherine A. RN, MSN, CCRN, ANP-C; Thompson, Brenda RN, MS, CCRN, CNS; Rasmussen, Mary Jane RN

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Abstract

Heart failure continues to be diagnosed at unprecedented rates. It is essential that the affiliated professional, including the nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, and physician assistant, be aware of the current treatments and technology that improve symptoms and reduce mortality rates in patients with heart failure. Medications remain critical in reducing symptoms. New clinical trial data on cardiac resynchronization therapy and cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillation reveal improved mortality and quality of life in patients already on optimal drug therapy. This article addresses current treatment strategies with drugs and devices, summarizes therapy efficacy based on clinical trial data, and provides a case study illustrating a typical patient who could benefit from the addition of device therapy. Through awareness of current guidelines and advocacy for the patient, nurses and affiliated professionals have an essential role in reducing mortality and improving outcomes for heart failure patients.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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