Circulatory Case Study 3


A 63 year-old woman was brought to the emergency room by her daughter.  The woman had shortness of breath, severe fatigue and weakness, abdominal distension, swelling of the ankles, pale, cold and moist skin and fluid sounds in both lungs.

Further examination revealed slight cyanosis (bluish skin), distension of the neck veins, increased respiratory rate, enlarged heart with increased heart rate.  The emergency room diagnosed the patient as having left ventricular failure resulting from myocardial infarction and admitted the woman to the cardiac intensive care ward.


1.) Trace a drop of blood from the heart to the body and back to the heart. Distinguish between arteries, veins and capillaries both functionally and structurally.

2.) Describe the composition and functions of blood.

3.)Explain how each of the described symptoms could be the result of left ventricular failure.

4.)  What is the root cause of myocardial infarction?  Explain.

5.)  Would this patient experience pulmonary congestion or peripheral congestion as a result of this infarct?  Explain.

6 .)  How would this patient’s cardiac output (CO) and stroke volume (SV) compare to a healthy individual?

7.)  What treatment options might be used to ameliorate this condition -

                                                     i.     Immediate care

                                                       ii.     Long term care