Tetralogy of Fallot

  1. I am a nursing student and we are having our case study and my patient was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot and Pneumonia. Can you please explain how Tetralogy of fallot can be associated with pneumonia. Thank you
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  2. Visit minsuga profile page

    About minsuga

    Joined: Mar '17; Posts: 4

    8 Comments

  3. by   Esme12
    Welcome to AN The largest online nursing community!

    What semester are you? What has your research revealed to you? We are always ready to help but we have ALL students post their work first. Research is going to be a big part of your career even after school.

    Ask your questions...

    What is Tetralogy of Fallot?
    How would this affect a childs lungs?

    Tetralogy of Fallot in Children | Symptoms, Treatment & Repair
    Tetralogy of Fallot: Practice Essentials, Background, Anatomy
    Tetralogy of Fallot - Mayo Clinic

    After you research come and tell us what you think and we can go from there!
  4. by   minsuga
    Good day!
    We are second year nursing students currently in second semester. We are not yet done with our case study. And we already checked those sites you've given but we still can't understand how the tetralogy of fallot can affect a child's lungs.

    Thank you.
  5. by   HouTx
    OK - you don't understand the effects of reduced pulmonary blood flow? I think you may be focusing too much on the lungs an an organ rather than the function that they perform. One of the major effects of Tetralogy is pulmonary shunting though that VSD - which means that the arterial oxygen content can be very low. Also-- Pulmonary blood flow also helps to nourish the lung tissue itself via the bronchial arteries. In Tetralogy, this flow is also reduced... so lung tissue may be under-developed. Under-developed lungs are not fully functional.

    Normally, when oxygenation drops - due to whatever cause.... we naturally begin to compensate by increasing the rate & depth of respiration to increase the supply of oxygen via alveolar absorption. With these babies, that compensation (pulmonary reserve capacity) is not effective because of the underlying mechanisms associated with Tetralogy - they may have very little pulmonary reserve, so any sort of pulmonary obstruction or problem is going to quickly result in dramatic and very serious levels of respiratory distress.

    Does this help? When you have these sorts of problems to sort out, you really have to drag out the old concept map... applying all that stuff from your A&P classes to patient situations.
  6. by   Esme12
    Quote from minsuga
    Good day!
    We are second year nursing students currently in second semester. We are not yet done with our case study. And we already checked those sites you've given but we still can't understand how the tetralogy of fallot can affect a child's lungs.

    Thank you.
    Are you in the US? Are you in a two year program or 4 year?

    Tetralogy of Fallot defects cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body. Symptoms include blue-tinged skin and shortness of breath.
    Facts about Tetralogy of Fallot | Congenital Heart Defects | NCBDDD | CDC

    Caring for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease and Their Families - American Family Physician

    Tetralogy of Fallot is made up of the following four defects of the heart and its blood vessels:


    1. A hole in the wall between the two lower chambers―or ventricles―of the heart. This condition also is called a ventricular septal defect.
    2. A narrowing of the pulmonary valve and main pulmonary artery. This condition also is called pulmonary stenosis.
    3. The aortic valves, which opens to the aorta, is enlarged and seems to open from both ventricles, rather than from the left ventricle only, as in a normal heart. In this defect, the aortic valve sits directly on top of the ventricular septal defect.
    4. The muscular wall of the lower right chamber of the heart (right ventricle) is thicker than normal. This also is called ventricular hypertrophy.


    This heart defect can cause oxygen in the blood that flows to the rest of the body to be reduced. Infants with tetralogy of Fallot can have a bluish-looking skin color―called cyanosis―because their blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen. At birth, infants might not have blue-looking skin, but later might develop sudden episodes of bluish skin during crying or feeding. These episodes are called tet spells.


    Infants with tetralogy of Fallot or other conditions causing cyanosis can have problems including:

    • A higher risk of getting an infection of the layers of the heart, called endocarditis.
    • A higher risk of having irregular heart rhythms, called arrhythmia.
    • Dizziness, fainting, or seizures, because of the low oxygen levels in their blood.
    • Delayed growth and development.
    • Other conditions to consider when evaluating a patient with suspected Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary stenosis include acute anemia, asthma and reactive airway disease, bacteremia and sepsis, cardiogenic shock,
    • These children are compromised and at risk for many infections. The heart and lungs work together so when one is stressed the other will be affected. This is a cyanotic heart defect so if the body does not have enough oxygen can it fight off infections?
  7. by   NicuGal
    Look at how the blood is flowing....and is the child a pink tet or blue tet, meaning does the infant have periods of cyanosis? How much valve issue is present, how big are the other defects associated with the Tet? This will tell you if the lungs are more compromised or not.

    Neonatal cardiology is fascinating...
  8. by   minsuga
    We are currently having our case study and our patient is diagnosed with periodontal abscess with pneumonia and tetralogy of fallot.
    And in the pathophysiology, I can't connect how pulmonary valve stenosis is related to perihilar pneumonia and how perihilar pneumonia is related to salmonella. Please help me with this
  9. by   minsuga
    Thank you. This really helped us
  10. by   sirI
    Threads merged for continuity.

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