4 Angina Pectoris (Coronary Artery Disease) Nursing Care Plans

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Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substance found in the blood.  Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow. When the coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, oxygen-rich blood can’t reach the heart muscle. This can cause angina or a heart attack. Without quick treatment, a heart attack can lead to serious problems and even death.

The classic symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD) is angina—pain caused by loss of oxygen and nutrients to the myo­cardial tissue because of inadequate coronary blood flow. In most but not all patients presenting with angina, CAD symptoms are caused by significant atherosclerosis. Unstable angina is sometimes grouped with MI under the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome.

Angina has three major forms:

  1. stable: precipitated by effort, of short duration, and easily relieved,
  2. unstable: longer lasting, more severe, may not be relieved by rest or nitroglycerin; may also be new onset of pain with exertion or recent acceleration in severity of pain.
  3. variant: chest pain at rest with ECG changes due to coronary artery spasm.

Nursing Care Plans

CAD is the most common type of heart disease. Lifestyle changes, medicines, and/or medical procedures can effectively prevent or treat CAD in most people. Other names for coronary artery disease are atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, ischemic heart disease and narrowing of arteries.

Here are four (4) angina pectoris (coronary artery disease) nursing diagnosis and nursing care plans (NCP):

  1. Acute Pain
  2. Deficient Knowledge
  3. Anxiety
  4. Risk for Decreased Cardiac Output
  5. Other possible nursing care plans
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Other Possible Nursing Care Plans

Other nursing diagnoses you can turn into care plans!

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  • Activity intolerance — may be related to imbalance between O2 supply and demand, possibly evidenced by exertional dyspnea, abnormal pulse/BP response to activity, and ECG changes.
  • Decreased cardiac output — may be related to inotropic changes, alterations in rate and rhythm possibly evidenced by changes in hemodynamic readings, dyspnea, restlessness, decrease tolerance for activity, fatigue, diminished peripheral pulses, cool/pale skin, changes in mental status, and continued chest pain.
  • Risk for sedentary lifestyle — risk factors may include lack of training or knowledge of specific exercise needs, safety concerns, and fear of myocardial injury.
  • Risk for prone-health behavior — risk factors may include condition requiring long-term therapy/change in lifestyle, multiple stressors, assault to self-concept, and altered locus of control.

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Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans for cardiovascular system disorders:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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