Diuretics & heart failure

  1. Why would a diuretic be used to treat heart problems? I'm sure the answer is quite simple and elementary, but I can't seem to find it...

    Thanks,

    the Jedi.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Italia13 RN
    With some heart problems like CHF, one of the Clinical manifestations is edema, so you retain extra fluid you don't need in the body. Giving diuretics will help get rid of some extra water the person does not need.Hope this helps
  4. by   student2008
    I'm also in med-surg and we are on the same subject. If I understand this right, diuretics are used to decrease circulating blood volume, which decreases preload. This would reduce systemic and pulmonary congestion.
  5. by   gt4everpn
    well in chf, the c meaning congestive is kinda a clue to why diuretics are given, in chf the heart is usually enlarged and weak and cannot pump the blood in and out of the heart properly, so the fluid backs up and causes edema in the legs, arms, etc.. so giving diuretics eliminates some fluid so the weak heart has less fluids to pump around, it kinda gives the heart a break and reduces edema!
  6. by   Jedi of Zen
    Quote from gt4everpn
    well in chf, the c meaning congestive is kinda a clue to why diuretics are given, in chf the heart is usually enlarged and weak and cannot pump the blood in and out of the heart properly, so the fluid backs up and causes edema in the legs, arms, etc.. so giving diuretics eliminates some fluid so the weak heart has less fluids to pump around, it kinda gives the heart a break and reduces edema!

    that does make sense. thanks to all!
  7. by   DoubleblessedRN
    Diuretics are meant to rid the body and or lungs of excess fluid, depending on which side of the heart is failing. If the pt has R sided heart failure, s/he will display edema to the extremities, jugular vein distension and an enlarged liver and spleen because the R side is doing a poor job pumping the venous returned blood. If the L side is failing, that means the L side is doing a poor job pumping blood, so serum backs up into the pulmonary veins then into the lungs, causing pulmonary edema and coughing frothy, sometimes blood tinged sputum. And the most common cause of one side of the heart to fail is from the opposite, because it works overtime to compensate for the failing side, and that will also eventually fail.
  8. by   beth66335
    They gave my son diuretics after surgery to keep the heart from having to pump so hard by reducing the amount to be pumped. Reduced stroke volume lets the heart heal, or stops it from fatiguing itself, as in CHF.

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