Decreased Cardiac output

Inadequate blood pumped by the heart to meet metabolic demands of the body

Defining Characteristics:
  • Altered heart rate/rhythm: arrhythmias (tachycardia, bradycardia); 
  • palpitations; 
  • EKG changes; 
  • altered preload: 
  • jugular vein distention; 
  • fatigue; 
  • edema; 
  • murmurs; 
  • increased/decreased central venous pressure (CVP); 
  • increased/decreased pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP); 
  • weight gain; 
  • altered afterload: cold/clammy skin; 
  • shortness of breath/dyspnea; 
  • oliguria; 
  • prolonged capillary refill; 
  • decreased peripheral pulses; 
  • variations in blood pressure readings; 
  • increased/decreased systemic vascular resistance (SVR); 
  • increased/decreased pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR); 
  • skin color changes; 
  • altered contractility: crackles; 
  • cough; 
  • orthopnea/paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea; 
  • cardiac output <4 L/min; 
  • cardiac index <2.5 L/min;  
  • decreased ejection fraction, stroke volume index (SVI), left ventricular stroke work index (LVSWI); 
  • S3 or S4 sounds; 
  • behavioral/emotional: anxiety; 
  • restlessness

Related Factors:
  • Myocardial infarction or ischemia, 
  • valvular disease, 
  • cardiomyopathy, 
  • serious dysrhythmia, 
  • ventricular damage, 
  • altered preload or afterload, 
  • pericarditis, 
  • sepsis, 
  • congenital heart defects, 
  • vagal stimulation, 
  • stress, 
  • anaphylaxis, 
  • cardiac tamponade

NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)

Suggested NOC Labels
  • Cardiac Pump Effectiveness
  • Circulatory Status
  • Tissue Perfusion: Abdominal Organs
  • Tissue Perfusion: Peripheral
  • Vital Signs Status
Client Outcomes
  • Demonstrates adequate cardiac output as evidenced by BP and pulse rate and rhythm within normal parameters for client; strong peripheral pulses; and an ability to tolerate activity without symptoms of dyspnea, syncope, or chest pain
  • Remains free of side effects from the medications used to achieve adequate cardiac output
  • Explains actions and precautions to take for cardiac disease
NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)

Suggested NIC Labels
  • Cardiac Care: Acute
  • Circulatory Care

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