Caring for Patients Receiving Vasopressors and Inotropes in the ICU
Learn about receptors related to cardiovascular physiology, the effects of vasopressors and inotropes, and so much more!
Shock requires early recognition and quick action to prevent organ failure. After initial I.V. fluid resuscitation, pharmacologic agents—such as vasopressors and inotropes—are used in critical care settings as supportive therapies to improve myocardial contractility, heart rate, and vascular resistance in patients with low cardiac output. When critical care nurses understand shock pathophysiology and hemodynamic monitoring, they can effectively and safely titrate (increase or decrease an infusion rate for therapeutic effect) these medications using the lowest possible dose to avoid adverse effects.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Identify receptors related to cardiovascular physiology.
- Differentiate the effects of vasopressors and inotropes.
- Discuss nursing care of patients receiving vasopressors and inotropes in the ICU.
Sonya M. Grigsby, DNP, APRN, AGACNP-BC
Sonya M. Grigsby is a critical care advanced practice RN at Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas.