Cardiac Question #4


The nurse is assessing a client admitted to the telemetry unit from the Emergency Department with complaints of increasing shortness of breath, and is coughing pink-tinged frothy sputum. During the history assessment, the nurse documents a history of left-sided heart failure. The nurse recognizes the presenting signs and symptoms of which health problem?


  1. Right-sided heart failure
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  2. Acute pulmonary edema
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  3. Bacterial Pneumonia
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  4. Myocardial Infarction
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Left-sided heart failure is manifested in the pulmonary system and may produce signs of pulmonary congestion, which may lead to congestive heart failure. If the left ventricular system fails to eject blood, then lung pressure rises as a result of pulmonary edema. Cardiogenic causes of pulmonary edema are due to poor heart function and result in congestive heart failure. Other causes (non-cardiogenic) are from acute respiratory distress syndrome, trauma, kidney failure, and other causes. The other selections do not coincide with assessment of history (hx of left HF), and signs such as blood-tinged, frothy sputum. Right-sided heart failure presents with dependent edema, jugular distention, hepatomegaly, weight gain, and abdominal distention.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale