April 8th 2009
One of the potential side effects of chemotherapy is cardiac toxicity. The resulting damage to the heart can range from non–life-threatening events to devastating heart failure. The spectrum of these events can occur almost immediately, during a drug infusion, or as a delayed complication later in the patient’s life. Oncology nurses not only need to be familiar with identifying and intervening in acute cardiac events, but also in some instances will need to monitor for delayed cardiac toxicities during the continuum of the patient’s life.