Signs And Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure
Following are the most common signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. CHF signs and symptoms in children may include:
- Failure to gain weight in infancy. Some babies will have normal length, but low weight for age
- Shortness of breath or labored breathing
- Needing to take frequent rest breaks while playing with friends
- Falling asleep when feeding or becoming too tired to eat during infancy
- Cough and congestion in the lungs
The severity of the condition and symptoms depends on whether and how much of the heart’s pumping capacity has been affected and/or how much extra blood is going to the lungs.The symptoms of CHF may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
Pathophysiologic Characteristics: How Rv Dysfunction Occurs In Left
The right ventricle is a low-resistance and high-compliance chamber that maintains stroke volume and cardiac output according to venous return, resulting in a particular sensitivity to acute changes in RV afterload.9 It has been demonstrated that around 70% of patients with HF demonstrate RV dysfunction, which arises as a consequence of a series of mechanisms, primarily identified in an increased vascular impedance (ie, elevated left atrial pulsatile loading, superimposed pulmonary vascular
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Pacemakers And Other Devices
The heart has its own electrical system that regulates the heartbeat. With every heartbeat, there’s an electrical signal that travels through your heart, causing it to contract and pump blood around the body.
For some people with heart failure, the electrical system doesnt work properly. People with heart failure have an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms , like atrial fibrillation. If you have an abnormal heart rhythm, you may need a pacemaker or device to regulate the heart rate and rhythm.
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Imaging And Other Tests
Other tests provide pictures of the heart and surrounding structures or show how well the heart is working:
- Electrocardiogram : An electrocardiogram test uses small sensors to measure heart rate , rhythm and electrical impulses.
- Chest X-ray: A chest X-ray is a picture of your lungs, heart and surrounding structures. It can show whether there is fluid in your lungs from heart failure, or if your heart muscle is enlarged.
- Echocardiogram : Echocardiography uses sound waves to create images of your heart. It can show how thick the heart muscle has become, as well as measure ejection fraction.
- MRI: MRI is an advanced imaging test that takes pictures of the heart and surrounding structures. It helps determine your heart function and size and whether there are any changes in the heart muscle. A cardiac MRI may help your doctors identify causes of heart failure.
When To See A Doctor
Its a good idea to speak with your doctor to check your heart health if you:
- Notice swelling in your legs
- Become winded easily with normal activities
There is no cure for heart failure. Still, with treatment, you can slow the progression of it and stay feeling better for longer.
You should seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you or a loved one is experiencing:
- Sudden shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain
- Trouble breathing and blood-tinged phlegm
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
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What Happens In Congestive Heart Failure
A healthy human heart relaxes and contracts nearly 100,000 times a day and pumps more than 2,000 gallons of blood throughout the body. The cardiovascular system also includes a network of arteries and veins to transport deoxygenated and oxygenated blood to and from the heart. If any part of the system falters, it can disrupt the flow of blood to vital organs.
Heart failure is characterized by a progressive decline in the hearts power to pump blood. When that happens, the heart goes through a series of structural changes and beats faster to pump more blood.
Also, the blood vessels constrict to stabilize blood pressure and restrict blood supply to non-critical organs like the skin and kidneys. When blood flow to the kidneys reduces, it compels the body to retain more fluid and sodium.
All these short-term fixes result in more damage and cause even more stress to the heart muscles. That, in turn, results in further deterioration of the hearts pumping action.
Congestive Heart Failure Overview
Congestive heart failure is a medical condition in which the heart cannot supply enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of other organs in the body. In congestive heart failure, the heart continues to pump but it is not as efficient as a healthy heart. This diminished capacity usually reflects another progressive, underlying condition.
Patients seeking congestive heart failure treatment can receive world-class care from some of the country’s leading cardiovascular specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
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What Is Stage 3 Of Heart Failure
Stage 3 of Congestive Heart Failure Small bouts of exercise or minimal doses of physical activity will cause the same symptoms mentioned in stage two fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. In stage three, lifestyle changes are not as effective, and a surgical procedure may be necessary.
What Is The Prognosis And Life Expectancy For Congestive Heart Failure
- The degree to which other organ systems are involved and the severity of other accompanying conditions
- The person’s symptoms and degree of impairment
- Other factors that remain poorly understood
With the availability of newer drugs to potentially favorably affect the progression of the disease, the prognosis in congestive heart failure is generally more favorable than that observed just 10 years ago. In some cases, especially when the heart muscle dysfunction has recently developed, a significant spontaneous improvement is not uncommonly observed, even to the point where heart function becomes normal.
Heart failure is often graded on a scale of I to IV based on the patient’s ability to function.
The prognosis of heart failure patients is very closely associated with the functional class.
An important issue in congestive heart failure is the risk of heart rhythm disturbances . Of those deaths that occur in individuals with congestive heart failure, approximately 50% are related to progressive heart failure. Importantly, the other half are thought to be related to serious arrhythmias.
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Doctor’s Notes On Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure refers to a condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump blood sufficiently to meet all the bodys needs for oxygen. The inability of the heart to pump sufficiently ultimately causes fluid to leak from capillary blood vessels, causing many of the characteristic symptoms. Any disease that can weaken the heart can cause congestive heart failure. Some of the more common causes are:
- problems sleeping when reclining.
What Is the Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure ?
The treatment for congestive heart failure is to some extent dependent upon the cause of the heart failure and usually involves a combination of different medications, which may include:
- Diuretics to control fluid buildup
- Medications to control blood pressure, including angiotensin converting inhibitors , beta-blockers, androgen receptor-2 blockers, or others
- Medication to strengthen the hearts activity such as digoxin
- Vericiguat , which a type of drug known as an oral soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator
- Nitrate medications to control chest pain
- Blood-thinning medications to prevent clots
Some people, depending on the cause of their CHF, may require:
- Surgery to repair or replace heart valves
- Coronary bypass surgery
- Insertion of a pacemaker, ventricular assist devices
- Heart transplantation
Nyha Functional Classification System
The New York Heart Association functional classification considers heart failure symptoms that happen during exercise to determine stage. Patients can go back and forth between stages depending on how well-controlled symptoms are on a given day.
- Stage 1: The person has heart disease, but it isnt yet causing symptoms or limiting activities.
- Stage 2: The person has mild symptoms that only slightly limit activity.
- Stage 3: The person has significant limitations to activities. He or she is only comfortable when resting.
- Stage 4: The person has major limitations and experiences symptoms when at rest.
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What Tests Diagnose Pulmonary Hypertension
Your provider may use several different tests for different purposes.
These tests measure the blood pressure in your pulmonary arteries:
- Right heart catheterization: This test is also called pulmonary artery catheterization. It measures the pressure inside your pulmonary arteries and checks how much blood your heart can pump per minute.
- Doppler echocardiogram: A Doppler echo uses sound waves to show how your right ventricle is working. It also measures blood flow through your heart valves. It allows your provider to calculate your systolic pulmonary artery pressure.
These tests look for the underlying cause of pulmonary hypertension:
- Blood tests: Check for a range of issues related to organ function, hormone levels and infections. Specific blood tests include a complete metabolic panel and a complete blood count.
- Chest CT scan: Looks for blood clots and other lung conditions that may be causing your pulmonary hypertension or making it worse.
- Chest X-ray: Shows if your right ventricle or pulmonary arteries are bigger than they should be.
- Polysomnogram : This overnight sleep test checks if you have sleep apnea.
- Pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan: Looks for blood clots in your lungs.
Your provider may also perform a six-minute walk test. This test shows how much exercise you can handle and how much oxygen is circulating in your blood as you exercise. The results indicate if your pulmonary hypertension is mild or severe.
Among The Nation’s Best
U.S. News & World Report has once again ranked the Herma Heart Institute at Children’s Wisconsin among the top programs in the nation for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. This ranking reflects the excellent outcomes and care we provide for even the most complex heart conditions. Families travel from across the country, and even around the world, to receive care from our specialists who are experienced in treating congenital heart disease from before birth and into adulthood.
What Causes Pediatric Congenital Heart Defects
In most cases, the reasons defects happen are not known, but some connections have been identified:
- Women who get German measles during their first trimester of pregnancy have a higher risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.
- The risk may also be higher if the woman has some types of viral infections, is exposed to industrial solvents, takes certain kinds of medications, drinks alcohol, or uses cocaine while pregnant.
- Women who have given birth to a child with a congenital heart defect are at higher risk of giving birth to another child with a heart defect.
Heart defects can also occur along with other types of birth defects.
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How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you many questions about your symptoms and medical history. Youâll be asked about any conditions you have that may cause heart failure . Youâll be asked if you smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol , and about what drugs you take.
Youâll also get a complete physical exam. Your doctor will listen to your heart and look for signs of heart failure as well as other illnesses that may have caused your heart muscle to weaken or stiffen.
Your doctor may also order other tests to determine the cause and severity of your heart failure. These include:
Other tests may be ordered, depending on your condition.
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How Congestive Heart Failure Affects Your Body
Congestive heart failure affects approximately 6.5 million people in the United States, preventing their bodies from getting the oxygen-rich blood they need. This serious condition is progressive and develops in stages from class I to IV which means recognizing the early signs is paramount.
At Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, Inc. our team of highly experienced cardiovascular specialists believes that education is key when it comes to your health. To that end, weve pulled together a few of the more common signs that you may be developing congestive heart failure with the goal of giving us ample time to take action.
What Is Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, congestive heart failure isnt a specific disease. Instead, its a condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of blood throughout the body, says Dr. Jerry Klein, DVM, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club. CHF can progress slowly, affecting one or both sides of the heart.
Before getting into the symptoms of heart failure, it helps to understand how a healthy heart is supposed to function. Firstly, the canine heart has four valves . Valves are located between the four chambers of the heart: the left and right atria and the left and right ventricles. In a healthy heart, the right ventricle pushes blood through the lungs so it can pick up oxygen. The left ventricle pushes the oxygenated blood into circulation so it can travel to wherever its needed in the body.
As the heart is pumping blood, the valves open and close, which is the sound you hear when you listen for the heartbeat. When a valve doesnt close properly or leaks, the blood doesnt flow into the following chamber and instead can leak back into the previous chamber, Dr. Klein says. Accordingly, a heart murmur can be an early sign that a valve is leaking. Instead of the lubb-dupp sound of a normal heartbeat, a heart murmur can have a swishing or whooshing sound. Though a heart murmur may be detected early in life, heart failure may not develop until much later in life, Dr. Klein adds.
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Is My Dog At Risk For Congestive Heart Failure
Several factors can increase a dogs risk of congestive heart failure. These include:
Age The incidence of CHF is higher in middle-aged to older dogs. Chronic valve disease is the most common cause of congestive heart failure in dogs and affects more than 60% of senior dogs.
Size Large dog breeds have higher risks for dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a leading cause of heart failure in these breeds. Some of the most common breeds affected by CHF are Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers.
Breed Mitral valve degeneration is a common cause of heart failure in small dog breeds. However, certain small breeds, such as the Toy Poodle, Shih Tzu, and Chihuahua have higher risks of being affected. Among the small dog breeds, its the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that is most at risk for MVD.
Boxers are also prone to hereditary conditions affecting the heart that can lead to heart failure.
Heartworm disease Untreated heartworm infections can increase a dogs risk for CHF. As the number of adult heartworms increases, they can clog the heart and its major blood vessels. The worms can also interfere with the actions/functions of the heart valves.
Diet Nutrition-related factors, such as obesity, certain nutritional deficiencies, and a high-salt diet, can increase a dogs risk of developing heart problems.
When your dog is overweight or obese, his heart will need to work harder so adequate blood can be circulated throughout the body.
Outlook For Heart Failure
Heart failure is a serious long-term condition that will usually continue to get slowly worse over time.
It can severely limit the activities youre able to do and is often eventually fatal.
But its very difficult to tell how the condition will progress on an individual basis.
Its very unpredictable. Lots of people remain stable for many years, while in some cases it may get worse quickly.
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How Should I Manage My Pulmonary Hypertension Medications
You may be taking many different medications to treat PH and other medical conditions. It can be a lot to keep track of. Heres some advice.
- Know the names of all your medications, and know how they work. Keep a list with you at all times.
- Take your medications at the same time every day. If you forget a dose, dont take two doses to make up for the dose you missed. Call your provider and ask what to do.
- Dont take any over-the-counter medications unless you ask your provider first. Some cold and flu medicines and pain relievers can cause problems for people with heart failure.
- Avoid any over-the-counter medications that have cautions for people with high blood pressure.
- Dont stop taking any medication or make any changes to your medications unless you first talk with your provider.
- Avoid herbal supplements including herbal tea. Herbal products may interact with some of your medications.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- A fast heart rate .
- A respiratory infection or cough thats getting worse.
- Constantly feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Episodes of chest pain or discomfort with physical activity.
- Extreme fatigue or decreased ability to do your normal activities.
- Nausea or lack of appetite.
- Restlessness or confusion.
- Shortness of breath thats gotten worse, especially if you wake up feeling short of breath.
- Swelling in your ankles, legs or tummy thats gotten worse.
- Trouble breathing with regular activities or at rest.
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