Pediatric cardiac disorders

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1

The nurse is monitoring an infant with congenital heart disease closely for signs of heart failure (HF). The nurse should assess the infant for which early sign of HF?

1. Pallor

2. Cough

3.Tachycardia

4.Slow and shallow breathing

3. Tachycardia

Rationale:
HF is the inability of the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to meet the oxygen and metabolic needs of the body. The early signs of HF include tachycardia, tachypnea, profuse scalp sweating, fatigue and irritability, sudden weight gain, and respiratory distress. A cough may occur in HF as a result of mucosal swelling and irritation, but is not an early sign. Pallor may be noted in an infant with HF, but is not an early sign.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Strategic Words
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Perfusion

2

The nurse reviews the laboratory results for a child with a suspected diagnosis of rheumatic fever, knowing that which laboratory study would assist in confirming the diagnosis?

1.Immunoglobulin

2.Red blood cell count

3.White blood cell count

4.Anti–streptolysin O titer

4. Rationale :

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues of the heart, joints, skin (subcutaneous tissues), blood vessels, and central nervous system. A diagnosis of rheumatic fever is confirmed by the presence of 2 major manifestations or 1 major and 2 minor manifestations from the Jones criteria. In addition, evidence of recent streptococcal infection is confirmed by a positive anti–streptolysin O titer, Streptozyme assay, or anti-DNase B assay. Options 1, 2, and 3 would not help to confirm the diagnosis of rheumatic fever.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Inflammation

3

On the assessment of a child admitted with a diagnosis of acute-stage Kawasaki disease, the nurse expects to note which clinical manifestation of the acute stage of the disease?

1.Cracked lips

2.Normal appearance

3.Conjunctival hyperemia

4.Desquamation of the skin

3. Rationale:

Kawasaki disease, also known as mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome, is an acute systemic inflammatory illness. In the acute stage, the child has a fever, conjunctival hyperemia, red throat, swollen hands, rash, and enlargement of the cervical lymph nodes. In the subacute stage, cracking lips and fissures, desquamation of the skin on the tips of the fingers and toes, joint pain, cardiac manifestations, and thrombocytosis occur. In the convalescent stage, the child appears normal, but signs of inflammation may be present.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Inflammation

4

The nurse is closely monitoring the intake and output of an infant with heart failure who is receiving diuretic therapy. The nurse should use which most appropriate method to assess the urine output?

1.Weighing the diapers

2.Inserting a urinary catheter

3.Comparing intake with output

4.Measuring the amount of water added to formula

1. Rationale:

Heart failure is the inability of the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to meet the oxygen and metabolic needs of the body. The most appropriate method for assessing urine output in an infant receiving diuretic therapy is to weigh the diapers. Comparing intake with output would not provide an accurate measure of urine output. Measuring the amount of water added to formula is unrelated to the amount of output. Although urinary catheter drainage is most accurate in determining output, it is not the most appropriate method in an infant and places the infant at risk for infection.

Cognitive Ability: Applying
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Comparable or Alike Options, Strategic Words
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Perfusion

5

The clinic nurse reviews the record of a child just seen by a health care provider and diagnosed with suspected aortic stenosis. The nurse expects to note documentation of which clinical manifestation specifically found in this disorder?

1.Pallor

2.Hyperactivity

3.Exercise intolerance

4.Gastrointestinal disturbances

3.Rationale:

Aortic stenosis is a narrowing or stricture of the aortic valve, causing resistance to blood flow in the left ventricle, decreased cardiac output, left ventricular hypertrophy, and pulmonary vascular congestion. A child with aortic stenosis shows signs of exercise intolerance, chest pain, and dizziness when standing for long periods. Pallor may be noted, but is not specific to this type of disorder alone. Options 2 and 4 are not related to this disorder.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Elimination, Perfusion

6

The nurse has provided home care instructions to the parents of a child who is being discharged after cardiac surgery. Which statement made by the parents indicates a need for further instruction?

1."A balance of rest and exercise is important."

2."I can apply lotion or powder to the incision if it is itchy."

3."Activities in which my child could fall need to be avoided for 2 to 4 weeks."

4."Large crowds of people need to be avoided for at least 2 weeks after surgery."

2. Rationale:

The mother should be instructed that lotions and powders should not be applied to the incision site after cardiac surgery. Lotions and powders can irritate the surrounding skin, which could lead to skin breakdown and subsequent infection of the incision site. Options 1, 3, and 4 are accurate instructions regarding home care after cardiac surgery.

Cognitive Ability: Evaluating
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Teaching and Learning
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Negative Event Query, Strategic Words
Priority Concepts: Client Education, Health Promotion

7

A child with rheumatic fever will be arriving to the nursing unit for admission. On admission assessment, the nurse should ask the parents which question to elicit assessment information specific to the development of rheumatic fever?

1. "Has the child complained of back pain?"

2."Has the child complained of headaches?"

3."Has the child had any nausea or vomiting?"

4."Did the child have a sore throat or fever within the last 2 months?"

4.Rationale:

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissues of the heart, joints, skin (subcutaneous tissues), blood vessels, and central nervous system. Rheumatic fever characteristically manifests 2 to 6 weeks after an untreated or partially treated group A β-hemolytic streptococcal infection of the upper respiratory tract. Initially, the nurse determines whether the child had a sore throat or an unexplained fever within the past 2 months. Options 1, 2, and 3 are unrelated to rheumatic fever.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Assessment
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Inflammation

8

A health care provider has prescribed oxygen as needed for an infant with heart failure. In which situation should the nurse administer the oxygen to the infant?

1.During sleep

2.When changing the infant's diapers

3.When the mother is holding the infant

4.When drawing blood for electrolyte level testing

4.Rationale:

Heart failure (HF) is the inability of the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to meet the oxygen and metabolic needs of the body. Crying exhausts the limited energy supply, increases the workload of the heart, and increases the oxygen demands. Oxygen administration may be prescribed for stressful periods, especially during bouts of crying or invasive procedures. Options 1, 2, and 3 are not likely to produce crying in the infant.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Perfusion

9

The nurse is caring for an infant with a diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot. The infant suddenly becomes cyanotic, and the nurse recognizes that the infant is experiencing a hypercyanotic spell (blue or tet spell). The nurse immediately places the infant in what position?

1.Prone position

2.Knee-chest position

3.High Fowler's position

4.Reverse Trendelenburg's position

2. Rationale:

Tetralogy of Fallot includes four defects–ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, overriding aorta, and right ventricular hypertrophy. If pulmonary vascular resistance is higher than systemic resistance, the shunt is from right to left; if systemic resistance is higher than pulmonary resistance, the shunt is left to right. If a hypercyanotic spell occurs, the nurse immediately places the infant in a knee-chest position. This position improves systemic arterial oxygen saturation. All other options will not improve systemic arterial oxygen saturation.

Cognitive Ability: Applying
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Strategic Words, Subject
Priority Concepts: Gas Exchange, Perfusion

10

The nurse is monitoring an infant with heart failure. Which sign alerts the nurse to suspect fluid accumulation and the need to call the health care provider?

1.Bradypnea

2.Diaphoresis

3.Decreased blood pressure

4.A weight gain of 1 lb (0.5 kg) in 1 day

4.Rationale:

Heart failure (HF) is the inability of the heart to pump a sufficient amount of oxygen to meet the metabolic needs of the body. A weight gain of 1 lb (0.5 kg ) in 1 day is caused by the accumulation of fluid. The nurse should assess urine output, assess for evidence of facial or peripheral edema, auscultate lung sounds, and report the weight gain to the health care provider. Tachypnea and increased blood pressure occur with fluid accumulation. Diaphoresis is a sign of HF, but it is not specific to fluid accumulation and usually occurs with exertional activities.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Gas Exchange, Perfusion

11

A child with a diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot exhibits an increased depth and rate of respirations. On further assessment, the nurse notes increased hypoxemia. The nurse interprets these findings as indicating which situation?

1.Anxiety

2.A temper tantrum

3.A hypercyanotic episode

4.The need for immediate health care provider notification

3.Rationale:

Children with tetralogy of Fallot or similar physiology may experience hypercyanotic episodes, or tet spells. These episodes are characterized by increased respiratory rate and depth and increased hypoxia. Immediate health care provider (HCP) notification is not required unless other appropriate nursing interventions are unsuccessful. Anxiety and a temper tantrum are unrelated to tetralogy of Fallot.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Gas Exchange

12

The mother of a child being discharged after heart surgery asks the nurse when the child will be able to return to school. Which is the most appropriate response to the mother?

1."The child may return to school in 1 week."

2."The child will not be able to return to school during this academic year."

3."The child may return to school in 1 week but needs to go half-days for the first 2 weeks."

4."The child may return to school in 3 weeks but needs to go half-days for the first few days."

4.Rationale:
After heart surgery, the child may be able to return to school in 3 weeks but needs to go half-days for the first few days. The mother also should be told that that the child cannot participate in physical education for 2 months. The remaining options are incorrect.

Cognitive Ability: Applying
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Comparable or Alike Options, Strategic Words
Priority Concepts: Infection, Safety

13

A child has been tentatively diagnosed with rheumatic fever. The nurse interprets that this diagnosis is consistent with which laboratory result obtained for this child?

1.Elevated antistreptolysin O titer

2.Decreased erythrocyte sedimentation rate

3.Negative result on antinuclear antibody assay

4.Negative result on C-reactive protein determination

1.Rationale:
In the presence of rheumatic fever, the child will exhibit an elevated antistreptolysin O titer, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, leukocytosis, and a positive result on C-reactive protein determination. A positive result on antinuclear antibody testing is used to diagnose a wide variety of connective-tissue, vascular, and immune complex disorders and also will be positive with rheumatic fever.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Infection

14

A 12-year-old is admitted to the hospital with a low-grade fever and joint pain. Which diagnostic test finding will assist to determine a diagnosis of rheumatic fever?
1.Absence of C-reactive protein

2.Presence of Reed-Sternberg cells

3.Decreased antistreptolysin O titer

4.Elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate

4.Rationale:
Rheumatic fever develops after a group A beta- hemolytic streptococcal infection, particularly pharyngitis. Initial diagnosis is made by noting the presence of Aschoff's bodies, or hemorrhagic bullous lesions, in the heart, joints, skin, and central nervous system; an elevated antistreptolysin O titer; an elevated C-reactive protein level; and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Reed-Sternberg cells are found in Hodgkin's disease.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Infection

15

The nurse reviews the laboratory results for a child with rheumatic fever and would expect to note which findings? Select all that apply.

1.Elevated C-reactive protein

2.Elevated antistreptolysin O titer

3.Presence of Reed-Sternberg cell

4.Decreased erythrocyte sedimentation rate

5.Presence of group A beta-hemolytic strep

1,2,5 Rationale:

Rheumatic fever usually develops after a group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection, particularly pharyngitis. Initial diagnosis is made by noting the presence of Aschoff's bodies, or hemorrhagic bullous lesions, in the heart, joints, skin, and central nervous system; an elevated C-reactive protein level; an elevated antistreptolysin O titer; and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Reed-Sternberg cells are found in Hodgkin's disease.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Analysis
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject
Priority Concepts: Evidence, Infection

16

A 1-year-old infant with a diagnosis of heart failure is prescribed digoxin. The nurse takes the apical pulse for 1 minute before administering the medication and obtains a result of 102 beats/minute. What is the nurse's best action?

1.Retake the apical pulse.

2.Withhold the medication.

3.Administer the medication.

4. Notify the health care provider.

3.Rationale:

The apical pulse rate for a 1-year-old infant is 90 to 130 beats/min. Because the apical rate is normal, the remaining options are incorrect.

Cognitive Ability: Applying
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject, Data in the Question
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Safety

17

The nurse is assessing a newborn with heart failure before administering the prescribed digoxin. In reviewing the laboratory data, the nurse notes that the newborn has a digoxin blood level of 1.6 ng/mL (2.05 mmol/L) and an apical heart rate of 90 beats/min. The mother also tells the nurse that the newborn just vomited her formula. Which intervention should the nurse take?

1.Retake the apical pulse

2..Administer the medication.

3.Withhold the medication for 1 hour.

4.Withhold the medication and notify the health care provider.

4. Rationale:
The apical pulse rate for a newborn is 120 to 160 beats/min. The therapeutic digoxin level ranges from 0.5 to 0.8 ng/dL (0.64 to 1.02 mmol/L). Because the apical rate is low and the digoxin blood level is elevated, indicating toxicity, the nurse would withhold the medication and notify the health care provider. Therefore, the remaining options are incorrect.

Cognitive Ability: Applying
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Subject, Data in the Question
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Safety

18

The nurse is preparing to administer digoxin to an infant with heart failure. Before administering the medication, the nurse double-checks the dose, counts the apical heart rate for 1 full minute, and obtains a rate of 80 beats/minute. Based on this finding, which is the appropriate nursing action?

1.Withhold the medication.

2.Administer the medication.

3.Check the blood pressure and then administer the medication.

4.Check the respiratory rate and then administer the medication.

1. Rationale:
Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside that is used to treat heart failure. A primary concern is digoxin toxicity, and the nurse needs to monitor closely for signs of toxicity and monitor digoxin blood levels. The medication is effective within a narrow therapeutic digoxin range (0.5 to 0.8 ng/mL). Safety in administration is achieved by double-checking the dose and counting the apical heart rate for 1 full minute. The apical pulse rate for an infant is 90 to 130 beats/min If the heart rate is less than 90 beats/minute in an infant, the nurse would withhold the dose and contact the health care provider. Therefore, the remaining options are incorrect actions; it would be harmful to administer the medication.

Cognitive Ability: Applying
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Comparable or Alike Options, Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Safety

19

The nurse is creating a plan of care for a child admitted with a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. In developing the initial plan of care, the nurse should include monitoring the child for signs of which condition?

1.Bleeding

2.Heart failure

3.Failure to thrive

4.Decreased tolerance to stimulation

2.Rationale:
Nursing care initially centers on observing for signs of heart failure. The nurse monitors for increased respiratory rate, increased heart rate, dyspnea, crackles, and abdominal distension. The remaining options are not conditions directly associated with this disorder.

Cognitive Ability: Creating
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Planning
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Strategic Words, Subject
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Perfusion

20

The nurse is reviewing the health care provider's prescriptions for a child with rheumatic fever who is suspected of having a viral infection. The nurse notes that aspirin is prescribed for the child. Which nursing action is most appropriate?

1.Administer acetaminophen for temperature elevation.

2.Administer the aspirin if the child's temperature is elevated.

3.Administer the aspirin if the child experiences any joint pain.

4.Consult with the health care provider to verify the prescription.

4.Rationale:

Antiinflammatory agents, including aspirin, may be prescribed for the child with rheumatic fever. Aspirin should not be given to a child who has chickenpox or other viral infections because of the risk of Reye's syndrome. Therefore, the nurse should consult with the health care provider (HCP) to verify the prescription. The nurse would not administer acetaminophen without specific HCP prescriptions. Administering aspirin is not an appropriate action without consulting the HCP first.

Cognitive Ability: Analyzing
Client Needs: Physiological Integrity
Integrated Process: Nursing Process: Implementation
Content Area: Pediatrics: Cardiovascular
Strategy(ies): Strategic Words, Comparable or Alike Options
Priority Concepts: Clinical Judgment, Safety

21

The nurse is caring for an infant with congenital heart disease. Which, if noted in the infant, should alert the nurse to the early development of heart failure?

1.Paleness of the skin

2.Strong sucking reflex

3.Diaphoresis during feeding

4.Slow and shallow breathing

3.Rationale:

The early symptoms of heart failure (HF) include tachypnea, poor feeding, and diaphoresis during feeding. Tachycardia would occur during feeding. Paleness of the skin, pallor, may be noted in the infant with HF, but it is not an early symptom. A strong sucking reflex is unrelated to the development of HF.

22

The nurse is caring for a child with a diagnosis of a right-to-left cardiac shunt. On review of the child's record, the nurse should expect to note documentation of which most common assessment finding?

1.Severe bradycardia

2.Asymptomatic after feeding

3.Bluish discoloration of the skin

4.Higher than normal body weight

3.Rationale:

The child with a right-to-left shunt will be considerably sicker than a child with a left-to-right shunt. Many of these children will present with symptoms in the first week of life. The most common assessment finding in these children is bluish discoloration of the skin, known as cyanosis. The child may also become dyspneic after feeding, crying, and other exertional activities. Severe bradycardia and asymptomatic after feedings are inaccurate findings. Many children with a left-to-right shunt may remain asymptomatic. High body weight is incorrect because these children usually have lower than normal body weight.

23

The nurse is caring for an infant with a diagnosis of congenital heart disease. Which finding, on physical assessment, does the nurse attribute to chronic hypoxia?

1.Tachypnea

2.Tachycardia

3.Sucking on the fingers

4.Clubbing of the fingers

4. Rationale

The child with congenital heart disease may develop clubbing of the fingers. Clubbing of the fingers is thought to be caused by anoxia or poor oxygenation. Tachypnea and tachycardia are signs of acute hypoxia. Sucking on the fingers may indicate hunger or irritability. Further assessment is needed to determine if this behavior is due to congenital heart disease.

24

A child is being discharged from the hospital following heart surgery. Prior to discharge, the nurse reviews the discharge instructions with the mother. Which statement by the mother indicates a need for further teaching?

1."Quiet activities are allowed."

2."The child should play inside for now."

3."Visitors are not allowed for 1 month."

4."The regular schedule for naps is resumed."

3.Rationale:

Visitors without signs of any infection are allowed to visit the child. The mother should be instructed, however, that the child needs to avoid large crowds of people for 1 week following discharge. The remaining options are accurate instructions regarding activity following heart surgery.