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Cardiovascular assessment and care 

Cardiovascular assessment and care
Cardiovascular assessment and care

Christine Spiers

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date: 17 April 2021

Cardiovascular disease remains a major cause of death in the United Kingdom. The early recognition of cardiovascular deterioration in the acutely ill patient is an essential skill for practitioners in acute care. This chapter offers an overview of the cardiovascular system and normal physiological and compensatory mechanisms which support cardiovascular function. Cardiac assessment is explored in some detail including symptom review, cardiac monitoring, and chest pain assessment. The complex subject of arrhythmia interpretation and management is reviewed in some depth. The chapter concludes with a focus on the management of acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, and cardiogenic shock. All three conditions are potentially life-threatening and rapid assessment and treatment is essential to prevent mortality; evidence-based management of these conditions is considered in detail within this chapter.

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