Medical Surgical Cardiac Angina #4

Question

A client has been admitted to the hospital unit with angina. The client’s spouse expresses understanding of the condition when the nurse overhears the family member making which statement on the phone?

Answers

  1. “He has had a small heart attack and is causing him pain”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because angina pain is not the same as a heart attack. Angina happens when there is decreased blood flow within the coronary arteries supplying blood to the myocardium (heart muscle). Heart attack is ischemia of the heart muscle. Angina does not necessarily mean the client is experiencing a heart attack.

  2. “The reduced blood flow to his heart muscle is causing pain.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because angina or angina pectoris is chest pain associated with coronary artery disease and it is experienced due to the decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. Angina is reported as a heaviness, pressure, or squeezing-type substernal pain. The pain can be acute or a sudden, new pain or can be a recurring pain that is relieved by change in activity or medications. Regardless, the client should seek emergency care immediately.

  3. “The heart valve is blocked and causing pain in his heart.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because angina pectoris is not due to a blockage of a valve in the heart, but due to the decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. Atresia is when the valve is not formed and a solid sheet of tissue blocks the blood flow between the heart chambers.

  4. “He has a clot in his lung causing pain in his chest.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because “a clot in his lung causing pain in his chest” describes a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs from a blood clot that has traveled from deep veins in the legs or other parts of the body.

Overview

Angina or angina pectoris is chest pain associated with coronary artery disease and it is experienced due to the decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Angina or angina pectoris is chest pain associated with coronary artery disease and it is experienced due to the decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. Angina is reported as a heaviness, pressure, or squeezing-type substernal pain. The pain can be acute or a sudden, new pain or can be a recurring pain that is relieved by change in activity or medications. Regardless, the client should seek emergency care immediately. Treatment includes life-style changes (diet, exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation) and medications including nitroglycerin, calcium channel blockers, aspirin, beta blockers, and clot-preventing drugs. Medical procedures used to treat angina include angioplasty with stenting and coronary artery bypass surgery.

Test Taking Tip

Understanding anatomy and physiology can help rule out some incorrect answers. Client family members sometimes struggle with details of what is going on with the client, but a simple explanation can help them understand.

Video Rationale