The nurse is caring for a patient suspected to have pulmonary edema. The nurse notes bilateral crackles, orthopnea, edema, and shortness of breath. After notifying the physician, the nurse should avoid which of the following while waiting for the physician to arrive?

Elevate the patient's legs to improve venous return.

Explanation

• This patient is showing signs of pulmonary edema caused by left-sided heart failure.

• Elevating the patient's legs would increase venous return. This could overload the heart and worsen the patient's condition.

• This question asked you to identify the action the nurse should avoid, so the following are incorrect options:

• Incorrect: High-Fowler's position would improve the patient's ventilation.

• Incorrect: Supplemental oxygen would help improve the patient's oxygenation.

• Incorrect: Diuretics would help reduce pulmonary edema and fluid overload.

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