Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan

Utilize this Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan guide to understand the ins and outs of effective assessment and intervention. 

By Harriet Murray on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is a Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan Template?

Decreased cardiac output refers to a condition where the heart cannot pump an adequate amount of blood to meet the body's demands. It's critical to cardiovascular function, as the heart's ability to circulate oxygenated blood to the body's tissues and organs is compromised. Cardiac output relies on the heart's stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped per beat) and heart rate (the number of beats per minute). When the heart fails to effectively pump blood, it reduces oxygen delivery, potentially affecting various bodily functions and organ systems. 

This condition can affect individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Still, it's particularly prevalent among individuals with pre-existing heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction (heart attack), cardiomyopathy, or those recovering from cardiac surgeries. Furthermore, factors like hypertension, coronary artery disease, valvular heart diseases, or infections affecting the heart muscle can contribute to decreased cardiac output.

Nursing care plans are pivotal in managing and supporting individuals with decreased cardiac output. These care plans are meticulously designed to address the multifaceted needs of patients, focusing on both acute interventions and long-term management strategies. Immediate interventions aim to stabilize the patient's condition by monitoring vital signs, administering oxygen therapy, and ensuring proper medication adherence. Nurses also play a crucial role in closely monitoring fluid balance, assessing for signs of congestion or edema, and adjusting intravenous medications to optimize cardiac function.

Nursing care plans focus on patient education and lifestyle modifications. Nurses educate patients about the importance of adhering to prescribed medications, lifestyle changes (such as dietary modifications and regular exercise), and symptom recognition. They also guide the management of stress, smoking cessation, and adherence to follow-up appointments to ensure ongoing cardiac health. 

These care plans should emphasize holistic support, addressing the physical, emotional, and psychosocial aspects of the patient's well-being. Nurses provide emotional support, counseling, and resources to help patients and their families cope with the challenges posed by decreased cardiac output.

Printable Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan

Download this Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan for an effective assessment and intervention.

How does it work?

Step One: Gather your resources

Decreased cardiac output nursing care plans are a valuable resource and essential to keep on hand. Make sure that you have a copy of the free printable PDF when the need arises by either clicking the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button or by searching “decreased cardiac output nursing care plan” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app.

Step Two: Collate essential information

Once the patient has been diagnosed and assessed for a decrease in cardiac output, utilize this nursing care plan template to ensure all goals of care are met. Ensure your template is both secure and easily accessible to relevant parties via Carepatron's centralized workspace. 

Assessment, symptom management, and interventions can be collated within the single care plan and safely stored on a single database. The care plan allows for individualized treatment options and acts as a scaffolding to ensure goals of care are met, and the next steps are recorded for future reference or for distribution to other healthcare specialists who are part of the patient's care team. 

Step Three: Store the chart securely

After reviewing the decreased cardiac output nursing care plan and creating a viable and individualized plan for the patient, you need to secure the plan so that access is only granted to relevant parties. 

Ensure this through Carepatrons HIPAA-compliant free patient records software. Here, all relevant medical records can be safely stored and collated for ease and security. 

Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

Eager to utilize this essential care planning tool? Acquire a free, downloadable, and printable decreased cardiac output nursing care plan template PDF with fictional data to help you confidently track your patient's needs or act as an educational tool. 

Our crafted sample template is designed to assist you in efficiently utilizing the chart and evaluating care goals for patients with abnormal cardiac activity. It includes dedicated sections for evaluation, interventions, and symptom tracking. 

Secure your copy by previewing the sample below or clicking the "Download Example PDF" button.

Download this Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan example:

Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

When would you use this template?

Nursing care plans for decreased cardiac output are essential in various clinical scenarios where individuals experience compromised heart function. Some specific scenarios include:

Heart failure

Patients diagnosed with heart failure, either due to chronic conditions or acute exacerbations, require meticulous nursing care plans. These plans aim to manage symptoms, monitor fluid status, administer medications, and educate patients on self-management strategies.

Post-cardiac surgery

Individuals recovering from cardiac surgeries like bypass surgeries, valve replacements, or heart transplantations often experience temporarily reduced cardiac output. Nursing care plans in this scenario focus on post-operative monitoring, pain management, wound care, early ambulation, and rehabilitation.

Myocardial infarction

Patients recovering from a heart attack need specialized nursing care plans to manage cardiac rehabilitation, lifestyle modifications, medication adherence, and emotional support during recovery.

Cardiogenic shock

In cases of severe cardiac dysfunction leading to inadequate tissue perfusion, patients experience cardiogenic shock. Nursing care plans aim to stabilize the patient, administer medications, provide mechanical circulatory support, and closely monitor vital signs.

Valvular heart diseases

Individuals with valvular heart diseases, such as stenosis or regurgitation, may experience reduced cardiac output. Nursing care plans focus on monitoring symptoms, medication management, and preparing patients for potential surgical interventions.

Hypertension and coronary artery disease

Patients managing chronic conditions like hypertension or coronary artery disease require ongoing nursing care plans. These plans involve medication management, lifestyle modifications, risk factor reduction, and patient education.

Pulmonary edema

Patients experiencing pulmonary edema due to heart failure or other cardiac issues need immediate nursing interventions to improve oxygenation, administer medications, and monitor for worsening symptoms.

What do the results mean?


Nursing assessments for decreased cardiac output encompass various vital signs, physiological markers, and patient observations to gauge the extent of cardiac function and its impact on the body:

  • Vital signs: Continuous monitoring of heart rate and blood pressure is crucial. Initially, increased heart rate and blood pressure might compensate for decreased output. Later, blood pressure may drop, leading to hypotension.
  • Respiratory assessment: Observing breath sounds, rate, pattern, and oxygen saturation is essential. Reduced cardiac output can induce shortness of breath, abnormal breath sounds like crackles, and compromised oxygen levels.
  • Cardiac rhythm and sounds: Regular heart rhythm and sounds assessment is vital. Reduced output can lead to arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation or vice versa. Changes in heart sounds may indicate heart failure.
  • Peripheral indicators: Checking peripheral pulses provides insight into tissue perfusion. Decreased or weak pulses can signify poor perfusion due to decreased cardiac output.
  • Skin assessment: Evaluating skin color, temperature, and moisture helps detect poor tissue perfusion. Cool, clammy, or pale skin indicates decreased oxygen delivery to tissues.
  • Mental status examination: Altered mental status might manifest due to decreased oxygenation. Confusion can be an indicator of reduced cardiac output affecting cerebral perfusion.
  • Laboratory and imaging studies: Analyzing lab results and imaging studies aids in identifying underlying causes contributing to low cardiac output.
  • Fluid monitoring: Close monitoring of weight, intake, and output is crucial. Fluid retention can exacerbate symptoms related to decreased cardiac output.
  • Activity level monitoring: Patients might experience increased fatigue due to reduced cardiac output. Monitoring activity levels helps manage energy expenditure and fatigue.

These assessments provide a comprehensive view of a patient's physiological status affected by decreased cardiac output. They aid nurses in early detection, intervention, and ongoing management to improve patient outcomes and guide personalized care plans.


Treatment plans for decreased cardiac output involve various interventions to improve cardiac function, address underlying causes, and manage symptoms. below are some key interventions along with their rationales:

Medication management:

  • Inotropes: These medications (e.g., dobutamine) increase myocardial contractility, improving cardiac output.
  • Vasopressors: Drugs like norepinephrine can elevate blood pressure, supporting cardiac output by enhancing peripheral vascular resistance.

Oxygen therapy:

  • Supplemental Oxygen: Ensures adequate oxygenation, compensating for reduced oxygen delivery due to decreased cardiac output.

Fluid management:

  • Diuretics: Reduce fluid retention, alleviating the workload on the heart and improving cardiac function.
  • Fluid Restriction: Prevents excessive fluid accumulation, aiding in reducing preload on the heart.

Monitoring and supportive measures:

  • Hemodynamic monitoring: Using tools like central venous catheters or pulmonary artery catheters to assess cardiac function and guide interventions.
  • Continuous ECG monitoring: Identifying and managing arrhythmias that can contribute to decreased cardiac output.
  • Close observation: Regular assessment of vital signs, peripheral perfusion, mental status, and oxygenation to monitor changes in the patient's condition.

Treatment of underlying causes:

  • Addressing coronary artery disease: Revascularization procedures (angioplasty, stenting, bypass surgery) to improve blood flow to the heart.
  • Managing valve diseases: Surgical repair or replacement of damaged heart valves to optimize cardiac output.

Lifestyle modifications:

  • Dietary changes: Reducing sodium intake to manage fluid retention and maintaining a heart-healthy diet.
  • Exercise programs: Supervised physical activity tailored to the patient's condition to improve cardiovascular fitness.

Patient Education:

  • Medication adherence: Educate patients about prescribed medications, their importance, and potential side effects.
  • Symptom recognition: Teaching patients to recognize symptoms of worsening cardiac function and when to seek immediate medical attention.
  • Self-care management: Guidance on managing fluid intake, diet, activity levels, and recognizing signs of fluid overload or exacerbation of symptoms.

Why use Carepatron as Your Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan app?

Selecting Carepatron as your preferred application for creating decreased cardiac output nursing care plans offers numerous advantages for healthcare practitioners.

Carepatron provides a centralized workspace, allowing you to manage clinical documents and electronic patient records, set patient appointment reminders, and handle medical billing seamlessly and efficiently within the platform, eliminating the need for additional software downloads. 

This integrated and comprehensive approach simplifies and streamlines processes and tasks related to kidney injury management, care, and various other activities, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus most of your time, attention, and effort on patient care.

Carepatron is dedicated to offering a highly efficient and productive platform for thousands of healthcare professionals, allowing you to customize tools and workflows to meet your unique needs. Additionally, it empowers practitioners and patients to manage administrative tasks such as service booking and completing paperwork. The easy sharing of essential documents and data through the app ensures a top-quality customer experience.

We strongly believe in providing radical accessibility, making our app available on any device you have. Our portable medical dictation software simplifies clinical note-making and updates, ensuring an effortless process. With great accessibility comes great responsibility, and we prioritize the security of all notes, clinical records, results, and practitioner data by complying with global security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST.

General Practice Software


Aliti, G. B., Rabelo, E. R., Domingues, F. B., & Clausell, N. (2007). Educational settings in the management of patients with heart failure. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 15(2), 344–349. 

Silva De Freitas, M., De Araújo, V., & Püschel, A. (2013). ARTIGO ORIGINAL DESCRITORES Insufi ciência cardíaca Conhecimento Educação em saúde Cuidados de enfermagem Insuficiência cardíaca: expressões do conhecimento das pessoas sobre a doença * HEART FAILURE: EXPRESSIONS OF PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE DISEASE INSUFICIENCIA CARDIACA: EXPRESIONES DEL CONOCIMIENTO DE LAS PERSONAS SOBRE LA ENFERMEDAD. Rev Esc Enferm USP., 47(4), 922–930. 

Viviane Lovatti Ferreira, Luma Nascimento Silva, Rejane Kiyomi Furuya, Schmidt, A., Lídia Aparecida Rossi, & Aparecida, R. (2015). Self-Care, Sense Of Coherence And Depression In Patients Hospitalized For Decompensated Heart Failure. Rev. Esc. Enferm. USP, 49(3), 387–393.

How do you create a Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan template?
How do you create a Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan template?

To create a comprehensive nursing care plan for cardiac output management, simply create a customized plan from the scaffolding provided by Carepatron and cater to the patient's needs through the key aspects of assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, and evaluation. 

When are Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

These valuable plan templates can be used at any point of the treatment journey for a patient who has had a cardiac injury or is at risk of developing one.

How are the Decreased Cardiac Output Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

Nursing care plan templates are used to plan efficient and confident care delivery. They are designed to be customized to meet the individual patient's needs.

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