Improve survival and quality of life in patients by promoting prompt use of evidence-based treatments.

Approximately 865 000 myocardial infarctions occur each year in the United States; of these, approximately 565 000 are new cases.1 Despite advances in treatment, disabling heart failure develops in 46% of women and 22% of men within 6 years after myocardial infarction.2 Approximately 40% of myocardial infarctions are accompanied by left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD), with or without clinical (ie, symptomatic) heart failure.3 Although current management of myocardial infarction is improving patients’ survival, a markedly compromised heart decreases quality of life and functional capacity and increases hospitalization and mortality.

With such a high proportion of survivors of myocardial infarction, especially women, in whom heart failure is likely to develop within a few years of the acute event, detection of LVSD should be a priority. During hospitalization, nurse clinicians should promote advocacy for...

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