What Are The Symptoms
Some are easy to confuse with normal aging or other diseases. The more advanced your heart failure, the more likely you are to have many symptoms, or the changes that youâve noticed in yourself will worsen.
These are common ways that heart failure can affect you:
Shortness of breath. Heart failure can make it hard to breathe when you walk up a flight of stairs. With advanced heart failure, you may get winded in a shorter period of time, or you may have trouble even when youâre sitting still.
Sleep problems. Heart failure can make it hard to breathe or catch your breath when you lie in bed. You may have trouble nodding off to sleep, or you might wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Try sleeping while propped up on two or more pillows instead of lying flat. Advanced heart failure makes it even more likely youâll have trouble breathing when youâre at rest. That means your bedtime problems will probably get worse, too.
Coughing. You may already have a dry cough that acts up when youâre lying in bed. You might cough often during the day, and your phlegm could have a slight pink tint to it. That means thereâs a bit of blood in the gunk youâre coughing up. Advanced heart failure can make that cough worse, especially when youâre lying down.
Fatigue. Heart failure can make you feel worn out. Things that wouldnât have tired you out in the past suddenly do. Youâre more likely to feel tired all of the time with advanced heart failure.
When Should I Ask For Help
If you feel you need more support to support the patient, speak to their GP, cardiology team or specialist team.;
Some parts of the country have specialist heart failure nurses who can be involved in a persons end of life care, so you may want to see if there is one covering your locality. They can visit people at home, in hospital or a hospice and give the person and their family support and guidance.;;
If the persons heart failure is due to an inherited heart condition such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, their family may have concerns about what the future holds for themselves. Give the family an opportunity to voice their worries and, if its appropriate, mention the possibility of referring immediate family members to a clinic which specialises in inherited heart conditions. This may be done when the person was initially diagnosed.
Inherited heart conditions services offer specialist assessment and investigations, genetic counselling and testing. GPs can refer to this service. Additionally signpost your patient to the British Heart Foundation Genetic Information Service ;, which offers information and support and helps with referrals.;
Prognosis At Different Ages
Its been a widely accepted clinical opinion for many years that younger people diagnosed with CHF have a better prognosis than older people. There is some evidence to support this theory.
Older people with advanced CHF have a more difficult prognosis. In these cases, its less common to live beyond 1 year post-diagnosis. This could also be because invasive procedures to help the problem arent plausible at a certain age.
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What’s The Systolic Heart Failure Life Expectancy
Systolic heart failure is an insufficiency of a heart caused by the malfunction of its left ventricle. This kind of HF is characterized by a low ejection fraction , also taken into account in this heart failure life expectancy calculator.
EF is given in percent, and should be equal to around 50-70%. Mortality increases as the ejection fraction value . The smaller the EF, the shorter the estimated survival.
Unfortunately, plenty of studies proved that the mortality in patients with systolic heart failure and low EF is higher than in those with preserved EF.
For example: 1 year mortality rate for low EF = 26%, and for the high EF = 22%.
How Long Can You Live With End
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that worsens with each flare-up. Your outlook and prognosis are better if you are healthy overall, you have been following your treatment plan, and you are responding well to your treatments. Being willing to pursue invasive treatments like a heart transplant will also increase your life expectancy.
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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.
What Are The Overall Benefits Of Hospice Care
If you or a loved one is facing a life-limiting illness, you may have heard the term hospice. Friends or family might have told you about the specialized medical care for patients or the support services for loved ones. But most people are unaware of the many other benefits of hospice.
Comfort. Hospice works with patients and families, providing them the support and resources to assist them through this challenging chapter of life and to helping the patient remain in comfortable and familiar surroundings.
Personal attention. Working with a patient and/or family, the hospice team members become participants in the end-of-life process, a very personal experience for any individual. The hospice mission is to care for each person individually. We listen to patients and loved ones. We advocate for them. We work to improve their quality of life.
Reduced rehospitalization. In the last months of life, some people who are seriously ill make frequent trips to the emergency room; others endure repeated hospitalizations. Hospice care reduces rehospitalization: a study of terminally ill residents in nursing homes shows that residents enrolled in hospice are much less likely to be hospitalized in the final 30 days of life than those not enrolled in hospice .2
2Miller SC, Gozalo P, Mor V. Hospice enrollment and hospitalization of dying nursing home patients. American Journal of Medicine 2001;111:38-44
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How Palliative And Hospice Care Can Help With End
Both palliative and hospice care focus on the whole person, including their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The main difference is that palliative care can be given at any time during a serious illness, and hospice care is given near the end of life typically when a persons prognosis is six months or less.
Palliative and hospice care can also provide help with making difficult treatment decisions, such as whether to be resuscitated if the persons heart stops, or whether to have a tube placed in their throat to help them breathe.
Similarly, people with end-stage heart failure may need to decide when to disable certain medical devices implanted in their body:
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator . Patients can have the shock function turned off, or not replace the battery when the current one runs out. Electrical shocks from ICDs can cause unnecessary distress for patients and loved ones at the end of life.
- Left ventricular assist device . Typically, the patient decides when this heart pump will be shut off before it is implanted. The decision can be discussed again as the end of life nears.
Top Tips For Caring For Someone Who Needs Help Eating:
- Face the person so they can see you and their food.
- If the person normally wears glasses or hearing aids, help them to put them on. This will help them to see what youre doing and to hear what youre saying.
- Offer smaller meals or portions that dont overwhelm the person.;
- Let the person eat slowly. Allow plenty of time for them to chew their food and swallow it. They might need to catch their breath before each mouthful.
- Watch for clues to help you tell when they have finished swallowing. If its hard to tell, ask the person if theyve finished or to open their mouth to see if there is any food left inside.
- For drinks, use a wide cup or glass, so the drinker doesnt have to tilt their head back. You could also use a straw, for cold drinks.
- Dont rush the meal. This could increase the risk of food entering the persons airways.
- Look out for signs of tiredness. If the person is getting sleepy, it is best for them to stop eating even if they havent finished their meal. This is because people are more likely to cough or choke on food.
- If possible, try and make sure the person waits at least 15 minutes before going back to bed or lying down. This reduces the chances of food and drink coming back up the throat and causing them to choke.
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What Should I Expect In The Last Few Days
As the end of life approaches, you might experience a number of physical and emotional changes. These are different for everyone. You might notice changes over weeks, days or even hours. Some of the changes might be the same as signs of a flare-up, so discuss them with your doctor or nurse.
Signs to look out for include:
Women And Heart Failure
Women are just as likely as men to develop heart failure, but there are some differences:
- Women tend to develop heart failure later in life compared with men.
- Women tend to have heart failure caused by high blood pressure and have a normal EF .
- Women may have more shortness of breath than men do. There are no differences in treatment for men and women with heart failure.
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When To See A Doctor
Both heart attack and heart failure are serious conditions. If left untreated, they can be fatal.
Anyone who experiences symptoms of a heart attack or heart failure should immediately seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Receiving prompt treatment can make a big difference to a personâs chance of recovery.
Cardiac Cachexia Or Anorexia
Cardiac cachexia or anorexia is characterised by loss of appetite, profound weight loss and loss of muscle and fat tissue. You could suggest the person tries eating small, frequent meals. You should consider high calorie, high protein food, and supplement drinks. There are more tips on our page about hydration and nutrition. A dietitian may be able to provide you and your patient with further guidance.;
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What Can Hospice Do For A Patient With Heart Disease
Your hospice team evaluates the patients status and updates the plan of care as symptoms and conditions change, even on a day-to-day basis. The goal of hospice is to manage symptoms and relieve physical/emotional distress so patients can live as fully as possible, retain their dignity and remain comfortable at home.
The hospice plan of care treats a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Functional decline
When you turn to hospice, you are not alone in your journey; your hospice care team is educated and experienced in advanced cardiac care:
- Monitor and manage your symptoms
- Communicate with your cardiologists office to intervene early and stabilize worsening conditions
- Provide medication, oxygen and other medical equipment related to your heart disease
- Provide services to reduce acute symptoms and avoid re-hospitalization
- Provide an average of 5 home visits per week and proactive phone calls
Hospice offers comprehensive services for patients with heart disease:
Living With Congestive Heart Failure: What To Expect
Yes, there are several lifestyle changes you should take into account if youve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. But remember your diagnosis;doesnt;mean you should necessarily stop doing things you love.
You are supposed to be exercising walking, biking, swimming, or doing light weight exercises, says Mountis. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week for optimal heart health. Avoid exercises that make you feel breathless, and make sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
Your healthcare provider will also likely suggest dietary changes that can help reduce the swelling associated with congestive heart failure and slow the progression of the condition. Those changes may include following a;low- or reduced-salt diet, or reducing how much fluid you drink to lessen the bodys water content.
Other lifestyle changes that can slow the progression of heart failure include:
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Congestive Heart Failure Prognosis And Progression Stages
The ACC/AHA Guidelines specify four stages of HF, indirectly determining how long can a person live with congestive heart failure, depending on the given phase of the disease.
- General health .
We can slow down the progression of the disease by:
- Maintaining the correct blood pressure; and
- Keeping our heart healthy by meeting certain target heart rates close to our maximum heart rate during exercise and everyday activities.
|Find out your patient’sHEART score for cardiovascular risk.|
Heart Failure Expectations Unrealistic
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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How Long Can A Chihuahua Live With Heart Failure
How Long Can A Chihuahua Live With Heart Failure?
Is dying of congestive heart failure painful? Pain. Some people with heart failure can experience pain or discomfort towards the end of their life. They should be assessed using a pain scale. Pain-relieving medicines can be used to relieve pain and discomfort; this can include opioid and non-opioid medicines .
Can dogs survive congestive heart failure? PROGNOSIS. The development of heart failure represents a specific measurable point in the development of heart disease. For DMVD, the average survival of dogs with CHF is 9 months. However, within survival times in this group vary widely, with some patients living over 3 years.
What are the last stages of congestive heart failure in dogs? A dog with congestive heart failure may cough, have trouble breathing, experience fatigue, loss of appetite, or might die suddenly. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can help reverse congestive heart failure, and medications are available to help relieve its symptoms.
For Patients With Heart Failure Little Guidance As Death Nears
Americans are living longer with heart disease, managing it as a chronic condition. But there are few rules for these patients as they near the end of life.
Ricky Hurst, whose heart is failing, was told by doctors to get his affairs in order as his condition worsened. More patients like him are living longer with heart failure, but there are no widely accepted guidelines for care as they near death.Credit…Sean Proctor for The New York Times
By Gina Kolata
Ricky Hursts doctors told him last year that there was nothing more they could do. His heart was failing and he should get his affairs in order. The end was coming.
His family gathered. He spoke to his pastor and resigned himself to death. If it was meant to be, it was meant to be, he said.
But. Mr. Hurst, 56, a former ranger and school football coach in Jackson, Mich., is still alive, although his heart continues to weaken. And patients like him are raising a new dilemma for doctors.
Heart disease once killed ruthlessly and quickly; patients like Mr. Hurst succumbed to heart attacks and sudden death from cardiac arrest. But with improved medical care and implanted devices that bolster the heart, a growing number of heart patients survive for years, even decades, coping with a chronic, progressive condition punctuated by crises and hospitalizations.
We shouldnt have a single one of these cases happening, said Dr. Haider Warraich, a cardiology fellow at Duke University and first author of the study.
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Can You Get Better After A Diagnosis Of Heart Failure
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.