A 64-year-old woman presents to the primary care office with shortness of breath, leg swelling, and fatigue. She has a history of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. She reports that recently she had been able to go for daily walks with her friends, but in the past month, the walks have become more difficult due to shortness of breath and fatigue. She also sometimes awakens in the middle of the night due to shortness of breath and has to prop herself up on three pillows. On physical examination, she is tachycardic (110 beats per minute) and has a blood pressure of 106/74 mm Hg. Fine crackles are noted on inspiration in bilateral bases. The cardiac exam reveals the presence of a third and fourth heart sound and jugular venous distension. 2+ pitting edema is noted in the knees bilaterally. An ECG shows sinus rhythm at 110 bpm with Q waves in the anterior leads. An echocardiogram shows decreased wall motion of the anterior wall of the heart and an estimated ejection fraction of 25%. She is diagnosed with systolic heart failure, secondary to a silent MI.
The name of the disease process is “iron deficiency anemia”. Tell us if this is a disease that you have encountered in caring for patients in your own nursing practice. Feel free to share a practice exemplar. If this is a completely new disease that you will learn about, tell us if it relates to your nursing practice in terms of the populations for which you care.
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