Medical Assessment and Treatment: Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the muscles of the heart making it unable to properly perform the function for which was made; supply of blood to all parts of the body. There are many types of cardiomyopathy with the most common ones being: Dilated , Hypertrophic , Arrhythmogenic and Restrictive cardiomyopathy.Although the cause of Mr. P’s health is problem uncertain, there is a strong suspicion that the major culprit is cardiomyopathy.
The type of cardiomyopathy unknown but given the fact that Mr. P seems to have developed the disease past his prime ,the most likely form of cardiomyopathy could be restrictive cardiomyopathy which more often than not affects older adults. This disease is manifested by reduced ventricular volume consequently affecting the pumping function of the heart and thereby causing heart failure. Treatment of the disease is targeted at isolation of the root cause and consequent use of medication to treat the patient. It is advised that the patient should also consider lifestyle changes including partaking of a healthy diet rich in nutrients and low in cholesterol.
Approach to care
Proper care of the patient has an undisputed role in prolonging Mr. P`s life and increasing the treatment plan`s effectiveness. Incorporation of exercise into the treatment regimen is an important factor. Mr. P’s fragile body cannot withstand strenuous exercise therefore light exercises like short brisk walks, lifting light weights and swimming can be considered. However, it is important to consult the health practitioner on this issue before embarking on any form of exercise to minimize the probability of exposing the patient to further risks. Frequent breaks in between exercise should be considered to avoid overexertion.
The doctor will have to look into the patient`s medical records to determine possible pointers of the disease and also analyze his family history because the disease tends to be hereditary. It is also important to analyze the patient`s lifestyle by looking at factors like consumption of alcohol and drugs like cocaine both of which increase the probability of developing cardiomyopathy (Spoladore, Maron, D’Amato, Camici, & Olivotto, 2012). Various symptoms are exhibited including: shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, poor appetite, and swelling of the feet among others(Haugaa et al., 2012). To enhance the quality of Mr. P’s life, it is important to manage these symptoms through a combination of good diet, exercise and medicine. Proper diagnosis of the exact form of cardiomyopathy will be possible after conducting a chest radiograph, electrocardiography (ECG), and an echocardiogram. Laboratory findings will reveal the blood cell count and renal, glucose, lipid, liver, and thyroid panels. Thereafter anti-coagulants can be used to prevent blood clots while inflammation of the heart muscles can be managed by the corticosteroids. In case the patient experiences a rapid heartbeat, calcium blockers or beta blockers would come in handy to remedy the problem (Grewal, 2012).
Method of education
It is important to develop a comprehensive education plan to inform the patient and the caregiver on how to manage the disease. They need to know the factors that can aggravate the disease like poor diet and stress. It is also important to educate them about the medication especially about the side effects, how the medicine should be administered and also factors that may increase or reduce its effectiveness. Brochures, pamphlets and any other light reading material may given to the patient and the care giver to assist in dissemination of information (Webber, Higgins, & Baker, 2001). Difficult, technical terms should be avoided as much as possible and where they cannot be substituted with simpler terms, they should be clearly explained. Education should also take a practical aspect like a demonstration on how read ingredients in food packages with the aim of identifying foods with high sodium and cholesterol percentages.
The teaching plan can be executed in a series of steps.
Step one: Meet with Mr. P and his wife who will be the primary caregiver and explain the underlying facts relating to the disease. This will involve telling them the exact form of cardiomyopathy affecting Mr. P and its symptoms. It may be necessary to briefly tell them about other types of cardiomyopathy so that they can have a better understanding of the condition in general.
Step two: Explain how the disease is affecting the body by inhibiting blood circulation. This can be done using illustrations of the heart and the blood circulation process.
Step three: Explain to the patient the various treatment options available and guide him in selecting the most suitable one based on his condition.
Step four: Once the patient has selected the treatment option, explain what it will entail, possible risks and address any concerns raised by the patient.
Step five: Explain the approach to care especially the role of diet and exercise.
Haugaa, K. H., Johnson, J. N., Bos, J. M., Phillips, B. L., Eidem, B. W., & Ackerman, M. J. (2012). Subclinical Cardiomyopathy and Long QT Syndrome: An Echocardiographic Observation. Congenit Heart Dis. doi: 10.1111/chd.12011
Spoladore, R., Maron, M. S., D’Amato, R., Camici, P. G., & Olivotto, I. (2012). Pharmacological treatment options for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: high time for evidence. Eur Heart J, 33(14), 1724-1733. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehs150