New Moms And Heart Failure Risk
A study published in January 2018 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure found that women are most at risk for heart failure within the first six weeks after delivery, also known as the postpartum period.
The research supports the notion that at-risk women need closer observation postpartum.
The researchers also say that because many women are discharged from hospital care just a couple of days after they give birth and arent given a follow-up until about six weeks later, the way doctors regard women who might be at risk of heart failure needs to change.
They call for comprehensive discharge health education, with emphasis on signs and symptoms to look for and when or where to seek immediate care.
Stage 3 Of Congestive Heart Failure
Its not uncommon for congestive heart failure to be accompanied by other heart conditions. If you are diagnosed with stage three CHF, along with another heart condition, its likely that youll have difficulty performing regular tasks. 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. However, its never too late to talk to a doctor about your heart condition and what the future may look like.
Hospice Care For Heart Disease Patients
If you are reading this, it is likely you or someone you love has been waging a difficult physical and emotional battle against heart failure or some form of heart disease. Your search for comfort, support and answers does not stop when you accept that you must learn to live with heart disease. Thats when VITAS can help.
Hospice helps patients and their families deal with the significant impact of heart disease after curative treatment has stopped. On this page, we’ve provided answers to these questions:
- When is the right time to ask about hospice?
- What can hospice do for a person with heart disease?
- What can hospice do for the family of a person with heart disease?
- What are the overall benefits of hospice care?
- How can I approach my hospice discussion with family members and loved ones?
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What Are The Symptoms Of End
Heart Failure: Quick Facts
1. More than 6 million U.S. adults have heart failure.
2. About half of people who develop heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis.
3. Most people with end-stage heart failure have a life expectancy of less than 1 year.
4. The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Heart failure worsens over time, so symptoms are most severe during the final stages. It causes fluid to build up in the body, which produces many of these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath . In the final stages of heart failure, people feel breathless both during activity and at rest.
- Persistent coughing or wheezing. This may produce white or pink mucus. The cough may be worse at night or when lying down.
- Weight gain or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins.
- Tiredness, weakness.
In addition, people in the final stages of heart failure may suffer from:
- depression, fear, insomnia, and isolation
- anxiety about their future
- trouble navigating the health care system
What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Failure
There may be times that your symptoms are mild or you may not have any symptoms at all. This doesn’t mean you no longer have heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure can range from mild to severe, and may come and go.
In general, heart failure gets worse over time. As it worsens, you may have more or different signs or symptoms. It is important to let your doctor know if you have new symptoms or if your symptoms get worse.
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How Can I Support Someone
The progression of heart failure can be unpredictable, which makes it difficult to know when to have conversations about end of life care. Its important to discuss things as early as possible, giving people the time to think about treatment options and where they want to be cared for towards the end of their life. This may help them achieve some peace of mind and a sense of control.
Its vital that the person is able to make informed decisions about their care, so find out if they have enough information about their condition, and how it may impact their life towards the end stages.
Its helpful for someone with suitable experience to start conversations about the following:
How Can I Approach A Hospice Discussion With Family Members And Loved Ones
The final months of life are frequently marked by strong emotions and hard decisions. Talking about hospice, even with those closest to you, can be difficult. Here are some tips to get the discussion started.
For patients speaking to families
Education is key. Educate yourself first. By now, youve probably done some research online. It may be helpful to read and share “Considering Hospice: A Discussion Guide for Families” at HospiceCanHelp.com. This discussion guide is a tool for you to print out and use in a family discussion.
Determine what your family members know. Before bringing up hospice, make sure your family members and caregivers have a clear understanding of your health status. People handle difficult information in different ways. If family members do not accept or understand your prognosis, ask your physician, clergy, a VITAS social worker or a trusted friend to speak with them on your behalf.
Discuss your goals for the future, as well as theirs. As a patient, your greatest concern might be to live without pain, to stay at home or not to be a burden. Ask your family members/caregivers about their concerns as they consider the coming days, weeks and months. Explain that hospice is not giving up. It is an active choice to ensure that everyones needs are met.
For families speaking to patients
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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 Causes Heart Failure
Heart failure can be caused by many medical conditions that damage the heart muscle. Common conditions are:
- Coronary artery disease affects the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the heart . The normal lining inside the arteries breaks down, the walls of the arteries become thick, and deposits of fat and plaque partially block the flow of blood. Over time, the arteries become very narrow or completely blocked, which causes a heart attack. The blockage keeps the heart from being able to pump enough blood to keep your organs and tissues healthy. When arteries are blocked, you may have chest pain and other symptoms of heart disease.
- Heart attack. A heart attack happens when a coronary artery suddenly becomes blocked and blood cannot flow to all areas of the heart muscle. The heart muscle becomes permanently damaged and muscle cells may die. Normal heart muscle cells may work harder. The heart may get bigger or stiff .
- Cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a term that describes damage to and enlargement of the heart muscle not caused by problems with the coronary arteries or blood flow. Cardiomyopathy can occur due to many causes, including viruses, alcohol or drug abuse, smoking, genetics and pregnancy .
- Tobacco and illicit drug use.
- Medications. Some drugs used to fight cancer can lead to heart failure.
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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.
Tips For Managing Congestive Heart Failure End
You may be asking, How can I provide comfort to my loved one as they experience the end-of-life signs of congestive heart failure? Its only natural that you as a loved one and/or caregiver will want to be as helpful as possible, and ensure that your loved one is experiencing as little pain as possible. Heres some ways you can help:
- Communicate with the doctors and healthcare professionals: Your loved one may be too weak, or simply forget, to communicate their symptoms to the doctors and nurses. You can help by sharing this information with them in order to make sure your loved one gets what they need.
- Provide comfort: Sometimes it is just as simple as spending time with your loved one while watching a TV show, or talking about things they love. These conversations can help in alleviating some of their depression and anxiety.
- Help them remember to take their medicine: There will likely be various pills and medications that your loved one needs to take. You can help by assisting your loved one in staying on schedule.
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Complications Of Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure can lead to a number of complications that can influence the chance of survival, including:
- Rapid Weight Loss Severe heart failure can lead to an unintentional rapid loss of weight that can be life-threatening. Heart failure can cause blood to back up into the liver and intestines, causing these organs to swell. This swelling can lead to nausea and loss of appetite, and can prevent the body from absorbing nutrients from food.
- Impaired Kidney Function Congestive heart failure weakens the hearts ability to pump blood, reducing blood flow to the kidneys. This can lead to kidney damage or kidney failure if left untreated.
- Liver Damage Heart failure can cause fluid to build up on the liver, which can lead to scarring. This makes it more difficult for the liver to carry out its day-to-day functions.
- Arrhythmias Heart failure results in damaged heart muscles, which can lead to the development of an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart beat. Arrhythmias can include the heart beating too quickly, beating too slowly, or beating irregularly.
- Heart Valve Problems If the heart is enlarged due to heart failure, the valves of the heart, which ensure appropriate direction of blood flow through the organ, may not function properly.
- Angina and Heart Attack Heart disease is a major contributing factor in many heart failure cases, and people with congestive heart failure are at continued risk of angina and heart attack.
Signs Of A Dog Dying Of Heart Failure
If your dog has just been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, you likely have many questions about what this means for their future.
CHF is a serious condition that cannot be cured, but can be managed over time with proper care. So how do you know if your dog is beginning to suffer in their condition?
In this article we will discuss the details of CHF in dogs, and help you understand the signs of a dog dying of heart failure.
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A: Patient Understanding Of Disease And Prognosis
A1: Dealing with advanced heart failure and ageing
Patient statements revealed different levels of perspectives related to heart failure, ranging from descriptions of their illness adaption to changing conditions , appraisal of their own quality of life , and their handling of information regarding their illness .
A1.a: Perception of heart failure
The patients described various experiences with symptoms of heart failure, in particular, limitations such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and restrictions in activities of daily living. Frequently, they did not perceive heart failure as a life-limiting, chronic disease with a long-term course, but rather as a disease with acute life-threatening events. The patients often believed their condition was a result of their old age and not a genuine illness. Medical definitions and personal experiences may diverge: Despite their specific diagnosis and treatment, the patients reported feeling well. Consequently, they may play down their symptoms and not take their medications. However, changes in the patients perceptions were sometimes observed when their condition worsened:
Patient P1, T3 : But my heart, thats not really the problem. That is high blood pressure. Yes, I have that! Oh, yeah! You know, now now I have it under control. You know, I have never taken any pills. Yeah, and I watch out for my blood pressure. But if I say I take my tablets, that I do not do that anymore.
A.1b: Adaption to changing conditions
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.
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Hospice And Congestive Heart Failure
When a heart failure patient has been diagnosed with six months or less to live, the added support of hospice care helps them remain in their home until end of life.
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides a team of nurses, aides, social workers, volunteers, and chaplains to support the patient and their family through the final stages of congestive heart failure symptoms. To learn more about referring your patient to hospice, please call Crossroads at 1-888-564-3405.
Taking Care Of Yourself
Knowing youre coming towards the end of your life can be scary and upsetting. You may even feel angry. You might find that these feelings are made worse by the constant coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and the discussions about death on the news as well as the unknown, and the thought of leaving family and loved ones behind.
Visit our emotional support hub to get help for anxiety, depression and loneliness.
It can really help your mental wellbeing to keep a sense of structure in your life and practice self-care. Depending on your symptoms and how youre feeling, you might not feel up for doing this. But if you can, try to:
do gentle activity exercise if you can, or try to move about
do things you enjoy hobbies/reading/watching TV
keep in contact with family and friends via telephone or social media.
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Both Are Chronic And Have Periodic Flare
Each of these conditions is chronic and cannot be cured. But you can have periods of relative stability when symptoms are not too bothersome. At times, though, the symptoms can worsen or flare-up. This is called an exacerbation.
The difference is what causes these exacerbations. With COPD, triggers are often environmentally-related:
- Exposure to germs that cause respiratory infections
- Breathing in cold dry air
- Exposure to air pollution
- Inhaling strong fumes or smoke
With CHF, factors that cause flare-ups are often more related to lifestyle or other health issues.
- Eating the wrong foods, for example, too many salty foods
- Drinking too much water
- Having a heart attack or stroke
In both cases, exacerbations can also occur when medications are not taken as prescribed.
How Can Heart Failure Affect People Towards The 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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Initial Stages Of Chf
In the initial, mild stage A, there are underlying high-risk factors for CHF such as smoking or high blood pressure. However, the affected person has no symptoms or limitations at rest or with physical activity and there are no signs of CHF on evaluation by a doctor.
In stage B, the person develops mild symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, or heart palpitations with routine physical activity. There are minor signs of heart dysfunction on a doctor’s evaluation. There might also be a mild, intermittent collection of fluid, known as edema, in the ankles and feet.
What Is The Treatment For Congestive Heart Failure
The treatment of heart failure depends on the exact cause, but it can usually be treated effectively. The overall goals are to correct underlying causes, to relieve symptoms, and to prevent worsening of the condition. Symptoms are relieved by removing excess fluid from the body, improving blood flow, improving heart muscle function, and increasing delivery of oxygen to the body tissues. This can be done by the various congestive heart failure treatments listed in this sections.
If the underlying cause of heart failure is not correctable by surgery or catheterization procedures, medical treatment is composed of lifestyle changes and medications.
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