Target Audience: Pharmacist, Pharmacy Technician 1.5 Credits Activity Release Date: 1/13/2022 12:00:00 AM Activity Expiration Date: 12/13/2024 12:00:00 AM Pharmacology
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Course Summary
Vasopressors and inotropes are used to treat critically ill patients who have hemodynamic impairment. Hemodynamic impairment causes low blood volume, decreased cardiac output, and inadequate oxygen delivery to bodily organs and tissue. Without treatment, patients with impairment will have a reduction in vital organ perfusion and possibly experience multisystem organ failure. The end result of inadequate perfusion and organ failure is shock and possibly vasoplegia or even death. Vasopressors and inotropes increase blood pressure so that the organs of the body are able to perfuse. Vasopressors and inotropes typically increase blood pressure in different ways; however, some vasopressors also have inotropic properties. Vasopressors and inotropes may be applied as first-line treatments or secondary treatments depending on the guidelines and practices; they may be administered separately or in combination. The specific drug chosen depends on a patient’s particular medical condition and the guidelines regarding when a drug is indicated.
Course Objectives
  • Compare the mechanism of action of vasopressors and inotropes
  • Describe the basic pharmacological profile and dosing for vasopressors and inotropes used in the treatment of shock
  • Identify when to begin treatment with fluid resuscitation, vasopressors, and inotropes
  • Describe the different types of shock and the clinical settings in which vasopressors and inotropes are most used.
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Course Syllabus

 I. Introduction

 II. The Heart, Hemodynamic Impairment and Shock

  1. Cardiac Output
  2. Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP)
  3. Altered Hemodynamics and Shock

III. Mechanisms of Action of Vasopressors and Inotropes

IV. Administration of Fluids and Vasopressors

  1. Choosing a Plasma Volume Expander
  2. Dose Administration
  3. When Should Vasopressors be Used?

 V. Commonly Used Vasopressors and Inotropes

  1. Adrenergic Agents: Catecholamines
  2. Adrenergic Agents: Non-catecholamines
  3. Vasopressors as Nonadrenergic Agents
  4. Inotropic Beta-agonists
  5. Inotropic Phosphodiesterase Type 3 Inhibitors
  6. Inotropic Calcium Sensitizers

 VI. Treatment of Hemodynamic Impairment and Shock

  1. Distributive Shock
  2. Cardiogenic Shock
  3. Hypovolemic and Hemorrhagic Shock
  4. Obstructive Shock
  5. Vasodilatory Shock/Vasoplegia
  6. Vasopressor Use During Surgery
  7. Opioid Overdose and Shock

VII. Summary

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