Patho Patho #91

Question

Which symptom would suggest that a client is experiencing angina rather than a myocardial infarction?

Answers

  1. Pain in the chest that does not respond to nitroglycerine.
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because chest pain unrelieved by nitroglycerine could be categorized as acute coronary syndrome/ myocardial infarction.

  2. Diaphoresis
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because diaphoresis often occurs in clients experiencing a myocardial infarction.

  3. Abnormal cardiac rhythms
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because abnormal heart rhythms often follow a myocardial infarction and thus does not help the nurse differentiate the clients symptoms as angina.

  4. Pain in the chest that is relieved by rest
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because discomfort in the chest that is relieved by rest is considered stable angina.

Overview

The focus of this question is asking the nurse how best to distinguish between angina and a myocardial infarction. A myocardial infarction would result in reports of severe chest discomfort that is unrelieved by rest or medication in addition to other symptoms. Stable angina is chest discomfort brought on by exertion and relieved with rest.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

There are two categories of angina: stable and unstable. Stable angina is chest discomfort that results from exertion and is relieved by rest/ medication. Unstable angina occurs at rest and is unrelieved by nitroglycerine. Unstable angina is considered a medical emergency because it could indicate that the client is experiencing a myocardial infarction.

Test Taking Tip

Stable angina is relieved with rest and/or medication like nitro; unstable angina is unrelieved by rest or medication and is also referred to as acute coronary syndrome. Unstable angina is considered a medical emergency.

Video Rationale