Complex Cardiac Care

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: Complete the following questions utilizing your textbook, the American Heart Association ACLS algorithm found in Blackboard, and any other resources you use. Cite the source used to answer each question.

Myocardial Infarction

1. What is a coronary artery?

2. Describe coronary artery disease in your own words.

3. Label the coronary arteries on the following diagram. Indicate the location of the heart to which they deliver blood in parentheses (Example provided for Aorta).


(peripheral circulation, major organs including brain, kidneys, etc.)

4. What is a myocardial infarction (MI)? How does this result in damage to the heart?

5. What are some common signs and symptoms of a MI?

6. What is common treatment (medications, procedures, etc.) for a MI? Be prepared to describe each.

Cardiac Arrest

1. What is cardiac arrest?

2. What four cardiac rhythms may be present in cardiac arrest? Describe or draw each.





3. If a patient’s monitor displays one of the rhythms mentioned above, in which site(s) is it acceptable to check a pulse? (Select all that apply.)

a. Radial

b. Brachial

c. Femoral

d. Carotid

e. Temporal

f. Pedal

g. Posterior Tibial

4. What other assessments should the nurse perform if one of the rhythms mentioned above (#8) is noted?

5. What are the common causes of cardiac arrest?

6. What do you do if…

a. Your patient’s rhythm shows ventricular tachycardia (VT). They are awake and talking to you.

b. The patient’s rhythm shows VT, but patient is unresponsive to any stimuli and has no pulse.

c. Your unresponsive patient’s rhythm shows normal sinus rhythm, but you cannot find a pulse.

7. When performing CPR, what is the ratio of compressions:breaths?

a. 15:2

b. 30:2

c. 40:2

d. 100:2

8. Refer to the pulseless American Heart Association’s Adult Cardiac Arrest algorithm (2015).

d. What is the first step to take when a patient is in pulseless VT, VF, PEA, or asystole?

e. What cardiac rhythms indicate that a shock from the defibrillator is advised?

f. Refer to the dosages of epinephrine and amiodarone in the “Drug Therapy” section and fill out the following table:





What does this drug do?



g. Compressions should aim to be completed at what depth?

h. How fast should the rate of compressions be when performing CPR?

9. What is “ROSC”? If ROSC is achieved, what assessments should the nurse perform?

10. If the patient is responsive after ROSC, what medical interventions may be performed on this patient?

11. If the patient remains
after ROSC, what medical intervention(s) may be performed to preserve brain function? (HINT: search “targeted temperature management”)

a. Explain how this therapy works to preserve brain function.

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Shock Differentiation & Nursing Care

1. Fill out the below table with information pertaining to the four types of shock discussed in your textbook.

Type of Shock





One-sentence Definition or Picture

Input a one-sentence definition of the shock type
paste a picture representation of it


List 3 common causes per shock type




Differentiating S/Sx

List 3 per shock type

Medical Interventions & Medications

List 3 per shock type



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