Pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease of the cardiovascular system that is characterized by an increase of pressure in the blood vessels and lung. The blood supply to the lungs is reduced, which makes oxygen uptake difficult. Pulmonary hypertension is triggered by vascular hypertrophy in the pulmonary artery. Vascular hypertrophy increases the resistance in the lungs whereby right-heart overload rises substantially.
This overload often leads to right ventricular insufficiency and can result in heart failure.There is no cure for pulmonary hypertension. The goal of the therapy is to heal the underlying disease, which leads to pulmonary hypertension. After manifestation of chronic pulmonary hypertension only symptomatic treatment is possible.
Medication with effects on vascular dilation is used to reduce pulmonary vascular resistance. These include calcium antagonists, endothelin-receptor-antagonists, phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors and prostanoids.
In a patient care program, nurses can support patients with their daily medication. Sources of error can be minimized with consistent therapy to improve quality of life.