A 75-year-old patient with a history of chronic congestive heart failure is hospitalized with complaints of shortness of breath and a dry cough. Vital signs are blood pressure (BP) 170/100 mm Hg, pulse 92 beats/min, respiration 28 breaths/min. The patient record indicates a gain of 4 kgs since his recent check-up; pitting edema in both ankles is noted. The patient is very anxious and states, “I cannot breathe”. You are the receiving nurse.
Please give and explain your rationale for your answers to the following questions:
1. What is the most important assessment for the nurse to conduct next?
2. What medications should the nurse expect the doctor to prescribe?
3. What is the impact of the patient’s blood pressure on his cardiac function?
4. What is the prognosis for untreated congestive heart failure?
5. What are the dietary recommendations for this patient?