NURS 6501 Module 2 Case Study Analysis 

NURS 6501 Module 2 Case Study Analysis 

NURS 6501 Module 2 Case Study Analysis 

Alterations in the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems

The cardiovascular disease system leads to the frequent confrontation of the physician as they do their daily activity in personal care. However, a critical review of the knowledge associated with the pathophysiologic process linked to heart diseases. 45 years old woman was presented with a chief complaint of the 3-day duration of shortness of breath, fevers, and cough with sputum production. The patient also presented a history of COPD with a chronic cough which had gotten worse, interfering with sleep. The sputum had gotten thinker, limiting her expectorate. In addition, the CXR showed that the patient had an increase in AP diameter, which revealed a flattened diaphragm. Based on Auscultation, the patient also demonstrated coarse rales, rhonchi, and hyper resonance in the lung field. The paper examines the case study by analyzing the symptoms presented, diagnosis, and the implication to the patient health.

Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiologic Processes

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused by the obstruction of the air in the lungs (McCance et al., 2019). Therefore, the chronic inflammatory response on either gases or noxious particles is led by the chronic inflammatory response. The known common causes of COPD are smoking and airway hyperresponsiveness, heredity, and asthma (McCance et al., 2019). The mechanisms that occur are fibrosis and the inflammation of the bronchus, and the loss of the elastic lung fibers. In addition, hypertrophy of the submucosal glands is involved, thus causing the mismatch of the perfusion and the ventilation.

There are two major types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which include Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. Emphysema is caused by shortness of breath (McCance et al., 2019). For patients facing the Emphysema lung condition, the air sacs are damaged. The increase in the air spaces in the inner walls eventually ruptures after weakening (McCance et al., 2019). Therefore, the first sign that one detects for a patient with Emphysema is shortness of breath and a persistent cough with phlegm.

Chronic Bronchitis is caused by the small airways and the obstruction of the airways. The problem is most commonly faced by smokers and people at a high risk of contracting a lung infection (McCance et al., 2019). The symptoms include shortness of breath, muscle aches, nasal congestion, and wheezing. The hypersecretion of the mucus and inflammation made a patient produce thick green sputum, rhonchi, and rales upon Auscultation (McCance et al., 2019).

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The diaphragm flattening is caused by hyperinflation of airways to a patient leading to an increase in the Anteroposterior (AP) diameter. The main cause of diaphragm flattening is the air trapping and the abnormal enlargement of the airspaces (Victory et al., 2020). In addition, the cardiovascular system can be mismatched by the ventilation-perfusion, causing a strain to a patient. The COPD patients’ demand for oxygen increases due to low-level absorption and diffusion in the body (Victory et al., 2020).

NURS 6501 Module 2 Case Study Analysis 
NURS 6501 Module 2 Case Study Analysis 

Therefore, the heart works harder in ensuring that the oxygen is pushed in different organs while the body picks up the signal. The task of pumping oxygen into the body and other organs becomes tough, leading to hypertrophy of the heart muscles (Victory et al., 2020). The complication is known as heart failure. The cardiopulmonary effect makes it easy to identify patients with COPD since they get tired and experience shortness of breath when undertaking strenuous activities (Victory et al., 2020).

Racial/Ethnic Variables that May Impact Physiological Functioning

Black Americans are at a high risk of hospitalization compared to Whites (Mamary et al., 2018). Among the patients in emergency room visits, fewer Black regularly have a schedule with a physician (Stellefson et al., 2021). In this case, a prolonged period of smoking, comorbidity, and a rise in the normal body mass cause an increase in the rate of hospitalization among Black Americans (Stellefson et al., 2021). Compared to non –Hispanic Whites, Black Americans are at a high risk of being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to mechanical ventilation. This shows that Black Americans are more vulnerable to the exacerbation of severe COPD.

How these Processes Interact to Affect the Patient

The common cause of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder is due to smoking. The effect occurs in the lungs hindering the inflammation of the airways. In addition, smoking causes damage to the alveolar walls and disrupts the hyperactive based on the secretion of mucus (Elisha et al., 2019). As a result, one faces shortness of breath and an increase in the Anteroposterior (AP) diameter and experiences the hyperresonance of the lung fields (Elisha et al., 2019). Therefore, a patient faces the risk of poor quality of life, which causes fatigue and sleep, thus interfering with daily life.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused by the obstruction of the airflow in the lungs. The major symptom for a patient with COPD include wheezing; the sputum gets thick and harder. In addition, a patient is likely to complain of coarse rales and rhonchi in all the lung fields.


Elisha, S., Nagelhout, J. J., & Heiner, J. S. (2019). Current Anesthesia Practice: Evaluation & Certification Review. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Mamary, A. J., Stewart, J. I., Kinney, G. L., Hokanson, J. E., Shenoy, K., Dransfield, M. T., … & COPDGene® Investigators. (2018). Race and gender disparities are evident in COPD underdiagnoses across all severities of measured airflow obstruction. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation5(3), 177.

McCance, K. L., Huether, S. E., Brashers, V. L., & Rote, N. S. (Eds.). (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. Elsevier.

Stellefson, M., Wang, M. Q., & Kinder, C. (2021). Racial Disparities in Health Risk Indicators Reported by Alabamians Diagnosed with COPD. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(18), 9662.

Victory, L. R., Ervin, K. M., & Ridge, C. A. (2020). Imaging in chest disease. Medicine48(4), 249-256.