Enter The Heart: The 4 Chambers

What is good world? HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope ya’ll have been good and blessings have been flowing your way. I been busy as usual. The hospital has been packed… sad face! I even had some fam in the hospital, that’s been another thang! All in all tho ya boy is very blessed. It has been a minute since the last post and I been thinking about what to holla at ya’ll about. I struggle to come up with topics sometimes. Ya’ll know I am a heart nurse, so I decided to write a little bit about some heart stuff. Since I have been seeing a grip of people with Heart Failure Imma hook ya’ll up some info. Here we go! (In my Slick Rick voice)

Just about everyone and they grandma’s second cousin has seen a picture of the heart. Either in school, or at a doctor’s office, ya’ll have seen a heart picture some where. Usually there is some complicated looking picture with words only doctors understand, and some arrows pointing in a direction that supposed the be showing where the blood is flowing.


Look familiar… LOL.

There are a massive amount of things that can go wrong with the heart. From the electrical, to the plumbing, to the siding (hahahaha) there is a bunch of things that can go wrong with the heart. This post is going to be about left and right sided heart failure and some of the ways to combat the symptoms.

Da Right

First, right sided heart failure happens when the right side of the heart gets weak and can’t do its job. The right atria and ventricle are in charge of pumping the blood that comes from the body to the lungs to pick up some oxygen (O2). When the right side gives out the fluid in the body starts to leak out of the vessels (veins and arteries) into the surrounding tissues or body parts. Below is a picture of what you would see in a person with right sided heart failure (Cor Pulmonale).


As ya’ll see this lady got a major amount of swelling in her body. The fluid that is supposed the be going to her lungs and back out to the body is getting trapped in the legs and stomach. The term is the right  corner, “dependent edema” means swelling in the lower part of the body. The term in the left center, “ascites” means fluid build up in the stomach area. So, when the right side of the heart gives out a bunch of fluid builds up on the body. Awe, damn!

Da Left

When the left side of the gives out, breaks down, and goes on strike the results look a bit different. The left side of the heart is in charge of pumping the blood that comes from the lungs out to the body. So, if the left side is broken then the fluid builds up in the lungs and makes it HARD to breathe.  Also, the rest of the body as a result is starving for some oxygen (O2). Below is a picture of what a person with left sided heart failure looks like.



This cat looks like he had some better days! Here is a quick break down of the non obvious stuff in the picture.

Orthopnea – trouble breathing while laying down (cuz of the fluid on the lungs)

Tachycardia – fast heart rate

Exertional dyspnea –  trouble breathing while moving

Cyanosis – Blue toes and fingers

Tachypnea – Breathing fast

Pulmonary wedge pressure – Blood pressure in the lungs

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea – Suddenly have trouble breathing at night

Heart failure is no joke ya’ll so if you or some one you know has these symptoms holla at a cardiologist (heart doc) ASAP. Okay ya’ll some quick ways to battle some of these symptoms is to limit the salt in your diet and monitor how much fluid you swallow. It is also important to move as much as possible. Get out and get that daily walk in. If there is a 5 pound weight gain in 3 days or less than go see a doc. If you can press the skin on your leg and your finger impression stays, go see a doc. I hope this little bit of info helps yo.

Da Story

An older gentleman that I was caring for came to the hospital with trouble breathing. They admitted him to the heart floor and I had the pleasure of being his nurse. Usually the people with heart failure are in the prime (70-80 years old). The gentleman explained to me how over time it has been getting harder to breathe. I explained to him some things about heart failure and the reason behind some of his symptoms. As we were talking I explained that the doctor had prescribed a medication that removes some of the fluid around his lungs. After giving the medication to the gentlemen I explained that I would be back to see him in a while. About 15 to 20 minutes  later the gentleman called me back to the room telling me he needs to get to the bathroom with speed. I said “Oh it looks like the medication is working”. The gentleman said “what is that s*@t you gave me?” I told him that the medication is called LASIX and makes you go pee. He said, “You told me it would make me pee, but i didn’t know I need to sleep next to the toilet”. The following night I came back the gentleman was breathing better and was able to go home. I love my job!


Until the next post, ya’ll stay blessed!


MaddHadda aka The Hood Nurse





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