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Nursing considerations in the care of patients with pulmonary hypertension

Nieves, Jo Ann MSN, CPN, ARNP, PNP-BC; Kohr, Lisa MSN, AC-PNP, MPH

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: March 2010 - Volume 11 - Issue - p S74-S78
doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3181d10cf4
Special Considerations

Pulmonary hypertension is a potentially lethal condition that may be encountered during the entire life span of patients with many forms of congenital or acquired heart disease, pulmonary disorders, and other diseases. Each pulmonary hypertensive patient requires anticipatory interventions geared to prevent severe exacerbations of the pulmonary hypertensive condition, promote pulmonary vasodilation, and optimize ventricular function. Patients with pulmonary hypertension are at higher risk for developing pulmonary hypertensive episodes in the immediate postoperative period after cardiac surgery, as well as during nonsurgical admissions. Nurses are in a critical position to provide anticipatory care to prevent the development of pulmonary hypertensive events. Nurses can be instrumental in optimizing outcomes for patients with pulmonary hypertension by providing immediate care upon the development of a pulmonary hypertension event and by monitoring ongoing responses to adjustments in therapeutic interventions.

From the Department of Cardiac Services (LK), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and Department of Cardiology (JAN), Miami Children's Hospital, Miami, FL.

The authors have not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

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©2010The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies