Jump to content

help with congenital heart defects


hi, guys. i am having an exam in the morning over a lot of content. among this content is congenital heart defects. i am having a lot of trouble with this topic, and i was hoping that someone could help me. i've been told that if i know the pathophysiology and where the heart defect is located at, i should be able to figure out the rest. also, if someone could help me figure out the priority nursing and medical intervention for these, i am sure that it would help me a lot!!!

okay, i know that there are cyanotic and acyanotic disorders. what's the difference??? i also know that blood cycles through the heart in this manner: deoxygenated blood comes from the svc and ivc to the ra>>>rv>>>out through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, picks up o2, and comes back in through the pulmonary vein into the la>>lv>>>aorta/coronary vessels>>>to the body/heart muscle...


i also don't quite understand what happens when the baby takes his first breath, but i feel that if i was able to understand this, i would understand chd.

thanks to all, and bless you all!!! i'll check for a response periodically. :heartbeat:heartbeat:heartbeat

thank you!!!

kgh31386, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

Well first off...do you know what cyanotic and acyanotic mean?

Yes, cyanotic means without oxygen and acyanotic means with oxygen. So, a cyanotic HD would present with cyanosis, and an acyanotic HD would not, right?

Wow. You are asking for a TON of information on the night before a test. Why are you asking for this the night before the test?

I would start with the fact that a fetus has a different blood flow to their heart and READ about when they take a first breath. It's not going to help you with CHF, but it may help with a couple of different congenital heart defects.

What happens when a baby takes their first breath?

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

Have you studied fetal circulation? Do you remember what the foramen ovale does in fetal circulation and why it is not necessary in neonatal circulation? In cyanosis what substance in the blood is too low? How would that happen related to a structural defect in the heart?

Yeah, I've already ready the chapter like twice and answered a bunch of NCLEX questions from my book, but I keep getting them mixed up. I figured that if someone would help me understand "why" and "how" that I would get it.

I know that the baby's lungs inflate and that this causes build-up in pressure against the ductus arteriosus, right? and this closes the hole, right? I still don't get how the shunting works, though!

with cyanosis the body compensates by making RBC's to aid in oxygenation, so polycythemia would be seen in a baby with a cyanotic HD, right?

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

The foramen ovale and the ductus arteriosis are two different structures in different areas of the heart. You need to look them up and understand the difference. What shunting are they asking for? It can be very complicated in CHD and I highly doubt they expect you to understand it enough to be tested on it. Do you understand the definition of the word "shunt"? I'm not implying you are stupid but it is an important concept, however, it can be simple or very complex. At the very basic level. Why is fetal circulation different than neonatal circulation? What is the flow of blood through the fetal heart that accomplishes this? What are the structures that allow for fetal circulation? And not to bust your chops but why in the heck did you wait until last minute to study something you of which you do not have a grasp and is very complex? I don't think any of us are going to be able to help you much over the internet. If you were here with me I could draw you diagrams galore.