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Can You Die From Congestive Heart Failure

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Heart Muscle Disease Or Swelling

An Osmosis Video: Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Explained

Any damage to the heart muscle, whether thanks to drug or alcohol use, viral infections or unknown reasons increases the risk of cardiac arrest.

Congestive Heart Failure Stages of Dying

Though there have been advancements made, 50% of patients with congestive heart failure will have an average life expectancy of five years. For individuals with advanced congestive heart failure, up to 90% will pass away within one year. Individuals with congestive heart failure at a moderate stage will average ten years. Death from congestive heart failure is nearly certain. The congestive heart failure stages of dying are as follows:

  • Dyspnea

How Does Heart Failure Affect Quality Of Life And Lifestyle

With the right care and treatment plan, heart failure may limit your activities, but many adults still enjoy life. How well you feel depends on how well your heart muscle is working, your symptoms and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan. This includes caring for yourself and living a healthy lifestyle .

Because heart failure is a chronic long-term illness, talk to your doctor and your family about your preferences for medical care. You can complete an advance directive or living will to let everyone involved in your care know your desires. A living will details the treatments you do or dont want to prolong your life. It is a good idea to prepare a living will while you are well in case you arent able to make these decisions at a later time.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.


Life Expectancy An Individual Matter

“The exact reasons for this incongruity are unknown but they may reflect hope or may result from inadequate communication between clinicians and their patients about prognosis,” write the researchers. “Because differences in expectations about prognosis could affect decision making regarding advanced therapies and end-of-life planning, further research into both the extent and the underlying causes of these differences is warranted.”

In an editorial that accompanies the study, Clyde W. Yancy, MD, of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, writes that predicting life expectancy in people with heart failure is not an exact science and many questions remain about clinical prediction models.

Therefore, until these issues are fully addressed, people should embrace an individualized decision-making process regarding end-of-life care guided by physician input.

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Congestive Heart Failure Causes

Congestive heart failure stages of dying frequently develop right after other conditions have damaged or weakened your heart. However, the heart doesnt need to become weakened to cause CHF. It can also happen if the heart becomes way too stiff.

When it comes to a result of CHF, the main pumping chambers of your heart may become stiff and not fill properly between beats. In many cases of heart failure, your heart muscle tissue may become damaged and weakened, and the ventricles stretch to the point that the heart cant push blood effectively throughout your body.

Severe lung disease When the lungs dont work properly, the heart needs to work harder to get available oxygen to the entire body.

Can You Get Better After A Diagnosis Of Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure Explained  Central Georgia Heart ...

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition, which means it gets worse with time. But even though it doesnt necessarily get better, managing heart failure the right way can help reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition.

I try to get patients to understand that this is not a death sentence, Mountis says.

Depending on the stage and severity of condition, some individuals may need more aggressive treatment, Mountis adds. But it is very possible to live a very good life with a diagnosis of heart failure.

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Take Care Of Your Health

Congestive heart failure death is a very real proposition. About 670,000 people are diagnosed with congestive heart failure annually. As a matter of fact, congestive heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than age 65. Lets talk about the final congestive heart failure stages of dying.

What Are The Stages Of Heart Failure

Heart failure is a chronic long-term condition that gets worse with time. There are four stages of heart failure . The stages range from “high risk of developing heart failure” to “advanced heart failure,” and provide treatment plans. Ask your healthcare provider what stage of heart failure you are in. These stages are different from the New York Heart Association clinical classifications of heart failure that reflect the severity of symptoms or functional limits due to heart failure.

As the condition gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. You cannot go backwards through the stages. For example, if you are in Stage B, you cannot be in Stage A again. The goal of treatment is to keep you from progressing through the stages or to slow down the progression.

Treatment at each stage of heart failure may involve changes to medications, lifestyle behaviors and cardiac devices. You can compare your treatment plan with those listed for each stage of heart failure. The treatments listed are based on current treatment guidelines. The table outlines a basic plan of care that may apply to you. If you have any questions about any part of your treatment plan, ask a member of your healthcare team.

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Thinking About What Care And Treatment You Would Like

For different heart conditions, there are different things you might need to consider when approaching the end of life:

  • Some people with heart failure are at risk of dying suddenly because they may develop a life-threatening heart rhythm. This can lead to a cardiac arrest. You may want to think about what you would want to happen if you had a cardiac arrest and whether you would want to have CPR or not. Without CPR, your heart rhythm would not be restored, and you would die.

  • If you have an ICD fitted, you might want to discuss whether to deactivate it . This would mean that if you were to have a cardiac arrest, your ICD wouldnt be there to restore your heart rhythm which would help to minimise any discomfort or distress. Read our ICD deactivation FAQs for more information.

  • Antibiotics are given to help your body fight infection. You may decide to refuse antibiotics.

Its good idea to involve loved ones in these kinds of decisions so theyre aware of your wishes. You might also want to discuss matters like organ donation and how you intend for your wishes to be recorded.

How Can Heart Failure Affect People Towards The End Of Life

Congestive Heart Failure – End of Life

At any stage of someone’s illness, heart failure can have a significant psychological impact on a person. People experience different emotions, including anger, sadness and worry. Life may feel very up and down, with good days and bad days. People can feel low about their symptoms and limitations, or they may feel that they lack control over their life. It can be particularly shocking for someone if they have been told their outlook is poor.

Symptoms can fluctuate at the advanced stage of heart failure, making it hard to estimate prognosis . This can make it difficult to know how and when to discuss the future and find out how someone would like to be cared for at the end of their life.

People with heart failure are more likely to have renal failure. Renal failure can make prescribing certain medications difficult which can, lead to more symptoms and discomfort.

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Serious Symptoms That Might Indicate A Life

Left-sided congestive heart failure can result in an immediately life-threatening condition called acute pulmonary edema, a sudden buildup of fluid in the lungs. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have symptoms of left-sided congestive heart failure including:

  • and restlessness
  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as , delirium, , and delusions
  • Fatigue and
  • Loose, that may produce frothy and possibly blood-tinged phlegm
  • Pallor or
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, , not breathing, or choking

What Are The Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure symptoms are due to a lack of oxygen in the tissues of the body caused by a damaged heart that cannot pump blood efficiently. Symptoms can vary between individuals and can differ depending on the severity of the disease and the side of the heart affected .

It is common to have some symptoms of both left-sided and right-sided congestive heart failure. Early symptoms may develop slowly, and in some cases, you may not have noticeable symptoms until congestive heart failure has progressed and become severe.

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Risk Factors For Heart Failure

Health conditions that left unrecognized or untreated will increase the lifetime risk of developing heart failure. Some of these diseases include:

  • Coronary heart disease and heart attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Unhealthy behaviors can also increase your risk for heart failure, especially for people who have one of the diseases listed above. Unhealthy behaviors include:

  • Smoking or using tobacco
  • Use of illegal drugs, like methamphetamines or even excessive alcohol intake
  • Eating foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium
  • Not getting enough physical activity

How Old Is My Mom With Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure

My 92 yr old mom has congestive heart failure. Its been years She has such a tremendous attitude. When she was young she was a nurse on the hospital ship HOPE during WWII, then she became a stewardess. She married my dad and became a good mom. So now, I want to be a good daughter to her.

Mother, on the other hand, had CHF for many, many years and it was pretty much kept under control with diet and meds. The last year of her life the CHF didnt respond well to much of any thing. Four months before she died she had a cough that didnt respond to anything and only happened at night.

Both of my parents died from CHF. My dad had it later in his life and after 3 months of doctors, hospitals, etc. he said enough. He went on the Hospice program and died 6 months later. The last 2 months he was pretty much bed ridden.

CHF is one of the most common reasons those aged 65 and over are hospitalized . This report presents National Hospital Discharge Survey data from 2000 through 2010 on hospitalizations for CHF. Did the number and age distribution of patients hospitalized for CHF change from 2000 to 2010?

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What Is Ejection Fraction

Ejection fraction refers to how well your left ventricle pumps blood with each heart beat. Most times, EF refers to the amount of blood being pumped out of the left ventricle each time it contracts. The left ventricle is the heart’s main pumping chamber.

Your EF is expressed as a percentage. An EF that is below normal can be a sign of heart failure. If you have heart failure and a lower-than-normal EF , your EF helps your doctor know how severe your condition is.

How Can I Improve My Quality Of Life With Heart Failure

There are several things you can do to improve your quality of life if you have heart failure. Among them:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Limit your consumption of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams each day. Eat foods high in fiber. Limit foods high in trans fat, cholesterol, and sugar. Reduce total daily intake of calories to lose weight if necessary.
  • Exercise regularly. A regular cardiovascular exercise program, prescribed by your doctor, will help improve your strength and make you feel better. It may also decrease heart failure progression.
  • Don’t overdo it. Plan your activities and include rest periods during the day. Certain activities, such as pushing or pulling heavy objects and shoveling may worsen heart failure and its symptoms.
  • Prevent respiratory infections. Ask your doctor about flu and pneumonia vaccines.
  • Take your medications as prescribed. Do not stop taking them without first contacting your doctor.
  • Get emotional or psychological support if needed. Heart failure can be difficult for your whole family. If you have questions, ask your doctor or nurse. If you need emotional support, social workers, psychologists, clergy, and heart failure support groups are a phone call away. Ask your doctor or nurse to point you in the right direction.

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Can You Die From Congestive Heart Failure

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Heart Failure Expectations Unrealistic

Living With Congestive Heart Failure

In the study, researchers surveyed 122 people with moderate to advanced congestive heart failure about their perception of their life expectancy.

They found the heart failure patients tended to overestimate their life expectancy by about three years. The average patient survival estimate was 13 years compared with a validated medical model estimate of 10 years.

Overall, 63% of people with heart failure overestimated their remaining life expectancy by an average of 40% compared with medical model predictions. Those who were younger and with more advanced disease were most likely to overestimate how long they had left to live.

During the three-year follow-up period, 29% of the people involved in the survey died. Researchers found no relationship between longer life expectancy perceptions and survival.

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Early Attention To Heart Disease

Congestive heart failure is one of the leading causes of death in the elderly and is not curable. The best course is to avoid or treat early known causes of the disease to prevent or limit damage to the heart. See your doctor if you notice early signs that might indicate CHF such as shortness of breath or fluid in your legs.

Stages Of Dying From Congestive Heart Failure

It is estimated that there around 5 million Americans suffering from congestive heart failure and every year another half a million people are diagnosed. This condition occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient oxygen-rich blood to meet the demands of the body. It can occur due to various reasons, like elevated blood pressure, malformed valves of the heart, weakening or stiffening of the heart muscle or diseases that demand more oxygen than the heart can supply, like anemia or hyperthyroidism.

Stages Of Dying From Congestive Heart Failure

As the disease progresses, the symptoms of condition tend to worsen until the eventual death of the person. Some of the common symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath when doing minor physical activity, fatigue, weakness, edema of the ankles, feet and legs, arrhythmia, constant coughing and wheezing, edema of the abdomen, nausea, lack of appetite, and problems in concentration. These symptoms tend to worsen as the congestive heart failure worsens or becomes more acute.

There are mainly 4 stages of dying from CHF, or congestive heart failure. These stages are described below.

Stage 2: In the second stage of dying, the tiredness becomes worse and the person may also suffer from palpitations of the heart while doing light exercises. However, the symptoms tend to disappear once the person rests for a while.

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B: Delivery Of Health Care

B1: Perceptions regarding care

B1.a: Appropriateness of care

The interviewed patients assessment of the quality of medical and nursing care varied depending on whether they thought the treatment was appropriate, necessary and met their needs. If decisions about medical treatment, prescriptions and home visits made by the professionals do not meet a patients expectations, they may be perceived as inadequate or wrong. Treatment of pain was particularly highlighted: The fact that patients often perceive pain as an expression of complete suffering not attributable to any particular cause leads to a type of indifference that makes any medical help inconceivable. The following quotation clearly illustrates this perception of ubiquitous suffering, which the patient repeatedly mentioned in every interview.

Patient HD12, T2 : I only want to feel better. But it seems its not to be, nothing good. Being ill, theres nothing wanted, nothing needed, its always the same. I dont need anything, I can be quite alone. Pain everywhere

Patient HD06, T1 : So you know, if a patient is really ill, yes, its good when you have someone who looks after you. I mean, I do not want too much care, it would be too much responsibility for me, you know. But if youre not feeling well, its good to have someone.

B1.b: Continuity of care

B2: Interpersonal relationships

B2.a: Interaction in the processes of care

B2.b: Specific aspects in physician-patient interaction

B3: Meaning of family

How Is Heart Failure Treated/managed

What is the difference between the right heart failure and ...

Treatment of heart failure depends on the underlying cause and this will direct the main treatment to prevent further deterioration. Heart failure can be cured if it has a treatable cause.

If the causes are due to coronary heart disease then the patient may require coronary stents or . If there is a heart valve cause, then the defective valve will need surgery to repair or replace the valve.

All heart failure patients will need:

  • Lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and stopping smoking and watching fluid intake and reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Medicine a range of medicines can help many people need to take three to four different types which have evidence to show they strengthen the heart and improve prognosis. This includes beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARNI and SGLT2 inhibitors. Other medicines, such as diuretics, may be used to help with the symptoms.

In cases where patients are seen to be experiencing continued deteriorating heart function despite the best and optimal medication, the following may be considered:

  • Cardiac resynchronising therapy In very severe heart failure conditions, a specialised type of pacemaker has shown to benefit and improve symptoms as well as prolonging life by resynchronising the contractility of the two main pumping chambers of the heart.
  • Cardiac transplant If there is no scope for recovery and the condition deteriorates then in suitable patients, a heart transplant may be considered.

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