Pericarditis | Nursing Management, Treatment of Pericardial Effusion, Friction Rub, & Pericardium

Pericarditis nursing NCLEX review on the nursing management, causes, signs and symptoms (pericardial friction rub), complications (pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade), and treatments (pericardiocentesis or pericardiectomy). Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium layer of the heart. The pericardium is a double layered sac that contains the fibrous pericardium and the serous pericardium. The serous pericardium is made up of two layers called the parietal pericardium and the visceral pericardium, which is also know as the epicardium. In between the parietal and visceral layer is the pericardial space that contains serous fluid called pericardial fluid. Causes of pericarditis include illness, trauma, autoimmune or idiopathic. There are two types of pericarditis, acute and chronic. Acute lasts for less than 6 weeks. While chronic pericarditis lasts more than 6 months. Chronic pericarditis can lead to constrictive pericarditis which is thickening of the pericardium that constricts heart filling. This leads to signs and symptoms of heart failure. Treatment for this is a pericardiocentesis. Signs and symptoms of pericarditis include: pericardial friction rub, fever, chest pain, pain while lying in the supine position, and ST segment elevation on an EKG. Treatments for pericarditis include aspirin or NSAIDS or Colchicine or corticosteroids.

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Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium, which is a sac-like membrane that surrounds the heart. The pericardium helps to protect the heart and keep it in place within the chest cavity. When the pericardium becomes inflamed, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

Nursing management of pericarditis involves assessing the patient’s symptoms, monitoring vital signs, and administering medications as prescribed. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. In severe cases, corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Treatment of pericardial effusion, which is the buildup of fluid in the pericardial sac, involves draining the fluid using a needle or catheter. This procedure is called pericardiocentesis and is typically performed by a cardiologist.

A friction rub is a distinctive sound that can be heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. It is caused by the rubbing of the inflamed pericardial layers against each other. Treatment of a friction rub involves addressing the underlying cause of the pericarditis and treating any associated symptoms.

The pericardium is a vital component of the cardiovascular system, and any damage or inflammation can have serious consequences. Nursing management of pericarditis involves close monitoring of the patient’s condition and prompt intervention to prevent complications. Treatment of pericardial effusion, friction rub, and other complications of pericarditis requires a multidisciplinary approach, including the involvement of cardiologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. With timely and appropriate treatment, most patients with pericarditis can recover fully and resume normal activities.


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