Peripheral Arterial Disease and Treatment

Topic: Public Health
Words: 802 Pages: 3


The category of cardiac disease is diverse, and there are many conditions that belong to it. Cardiac diseases tend to have considerable implications for the health of people and may entail long-term negative effects. One of the main examples of such conditions is a peripheral arterial disease (PAD) which is relatively common and may affect people of different ages (Parvar et al., 2018). Thus, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the disease to be able to identify it easily and develop an appropriate course of treatment.


First, it is important to present the basic information about PAD and then explore different aspects of the condition in more detail. Peripheral arterial disease constitutes a circulatory problem that involves arteries becoming narrowed and thus reducing blood flow to the limbs of patients (Conte & Vale, 2018). Essentially, those people who develop PAD experience a host of symptoms, the main of which is the problems with blood flow in their arms or, especially, legs. PAD is considered a cardiovascular disease due to the fact that it impacts the blood vessels in the limbs. In the majority of cases, PAD is caused by fatty deposits called atheroma, which form on leg arteries’ walls. Such deposits consist of cholesterol and various types of waste substances. Atherosclerosis is the fatty deposits build-up that causes the narrowing of arteries. The typical risk factor for the disease is smoking.


The condition can be diagnosed by using several elements, including symptoms and special techniques. The primary symptom of PAD is the problem with blood circulation in limbs and, namely, arteries. At the same time, other symptoms include brittle toenails, weak or undetectable pulse in the legs, and hair loss on the feet. The technique utilized to identify the presence of PAD is called the ankle-brachial pressure index (ABPI), and it is quick and non-invasive. The ABPI test involves the doctor checking the blood pressure of the patient’s ankles and upper arms while they lie on their back (Parvar et al., 2018). Specifically, doctors tend to use a Doppler probe which utilizes sound waves capable of determining the blood flow in arteries. The results of the test indicate the presence of PAD when the blood pressure in the patient’s ankles is lower than in the upper arms. Additional tests, such as ultrasound scanning, may be conducted, but doctors usually ask patients about their symptoms.


Currently, there is no cure for PAD, and therefore all treatment efforts usually focus on the improvement of the patient’s quality of life and maintaining it at an appropriate level. Moreover, one of the key goals of the existing therapies is the prevention of the development of additional cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks (Conte & Vale, 2018). In terms of medicine, people diagnosed with PAD receive a list of different medications. For instance, in the case of PAD, antihypertensives are utilized in order to reduce the blood pressure of patients. Another common medicine used to address PAD symptoms is statins which are capable of reducing the level of LDL cholesterol. As mentioned above, atherosclerosis constitutes fatty deposits on artery walls. The key risk concerning atherosclerosis is the possibility of the development of blood clots. In order to prevent blood clots from forming, patients are often prescribed blood-thinning medications. Finally, patients also can be offered naftidrofuryl oxalate if they experience pain in their limbs.

Multidimensional Care

At the same time, medicine is not the only treatment component used in the cases of PAD. In fact, multidimensional care is provided to people who were diagnosed with the condition. For instance, PAD patients are recommended to exercise since it has been proven to reduce the severity of symptoms and their frequency (Parvar et al., 2018). Smoking worsens PAD symptoms, and therefore patients need to stop doing it as part of their treatment plan. A healthy diet consisting of vegetables and proper weight management is also used as part of health promotion therapy. The specific nursing interventions involve administering the medications prescribed by the doctor to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and monitoring the vital signs of the patient. Additionally, nurses need to place patients in bed rest during the moments of pain attacks and educate them on how to address and overcome stress. Finally, nurses have to teach patients to use special relaxation exercises such a deep breathing.


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a severe cardiovascular condition that does not have a cure. PAD causes blood flow to stop or slow significantly in limbs and especially legs. In order to diagnose PAD, the ankle-brachial pressure index test is used. PAD can be managed through different activities such as regular exercise and administration of medications, including antihypertensives and statins. Comprehensive therapy is required to minimize the severity of the symptoms of PAD.


Conte, S., & Vale, P. (2018). Peripheral arterial disease. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 27(4), 427–432.

Parvar, S., Fitridge, R., Dawson, J., &, Nicholls, S. (2018). Medical and lifestyle management of peripheral arterial disease. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 68(5), 1595–1606.

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