Congenital cardiac defects and the clinical symptoms they exhibit are affected intimately by the relation they have with pulmonary circulation. Cardiac lesions that increase pulmonary blood flow often occur clinically with signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure, including hepatomegaly, tachycardia, diaphoresis, and feeding difficulties. However, in the neonatal period, pulmonary vascular resistance often remains elevated, decreasing the pulmonary blood flow and, therefore, severity of symptoms. Cardiac lesions that reduce pulmonary blood flow often manifest early in life with clinical signs and symptoms of cyanosis, tachypnea, and acidosis. Finally, cardiac lesions that result in isolated pulmonary blood flow manifest immediately in the neonatal period, with profound cyanosis and acidosis. In all three groups of cardiac anomalies, critical care nurses play a key role in the control of pulmonary vascular resistance and blood flow by collaborating in therapies designed to increase, decrease, or promote mixing to reduce morbidity and mortality

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