What Is Congestive Heart Failure?

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4 Answers

Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure. A heart failure doesn't mean the heart stops working, it means the heart can't work properly.

Like a pump, with each beat the heart pumps blood to supply to all over your body. When the pump gets weak, the blood pumped isn't enough to supple the entire body. The blood carries oxygen, insufficient blood supply means insufficient oxygen supply, then you start to feel discomfort, especially when you're in movement, i.e. shortness of breath, dizziness, and other symptoms associated to insufficient blood supply and insufficient oxygen supply.

Heart failure can be in the left side heart, right side heart or both. When both sides are failing, it is called congestive heart failure.

Then what makes the heart weaker?

Most often, the damage is to the heart muscle. The damage is usually done by high blood pressure, heart attack, or cardiomyopathy(heart muscle disease).

There can be damage to the heart valves or with scarring in the pericardium.

In rare cases the damage can be caused by long-time fast heart beat.

How does the congestive heart failure develop? There are four stages.

Class

Patient Symptoms

I

No limitation of physical activity. Ordinary physical activity does not cause undue fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea (shortness of breath).

II

Slight limitation of physical activity. Comfortable at rest. Ordinary physical activity results in fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea (shortness of breath).

III

Marked limitation of physical activity. Comfortable at rest. Less than ordinary activity causes fatigue, palpitation, or dyspnea.

IV

Unable to carry on any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms of heart failure at rest. If any physical activity is undertaken, discomfort increases.

Heart failure is a serious disease, treatment can slow down the progress, but the disease can't be reversed. For healthy people, prevention is the key. For patients, always listen to your cardiologist.

Prevention of heart failure include prevention and treatment of underlying diseases:

maintain a normal BMI

maintain a normal blood pressure

maintain a normal blood sugar

take fiber more

vegetables, vegetables, vegetables

no smoking

cut alcohol

exercises
Mom was diagnosed congestive heart failure, I now realize her forgetfulness and inability to do simple tasks are symptoms and for year. Why didn't I get her to a clinic earlier?  It's now in stage IV and she's suffering so much. I feel terrible.
Don't beat yourself down about it. No one knows exactly what is going on medically in someone else body. The most important thing now is to be supportive and there for her. Being knowledgeable and willing to accept the changes in lifestyle is a great start for the both of you. Continue to move forward , love & live life to its fullest! Make many new, fun and precious memories!
You did your best and she loves you for it.  So does God.  Got diagnosed today with diastolic congestive heart failure.  XPLAINS alot.   All these years they told me copd.  Proudly why none those meds or treatments helped at all. Aids for 30 years now so already prone to pnumonia.  Anywho.  Be happy you were able to be there for her and take care of her.  Take peace from that.  Goodnight ps only 57 this Tuesday as matter of fact.  Lol
COPD and heart failure are sometimes not that easy to differentiate. For end-stage heart failure with no effective medications, heart transplant is a feasible option.
I guess you have some lung problem for a long time. Long enough to get COPD(chronic obstructive pulmary disease). Then you find you have heart failure today. When you feel dyspnea (difficulty breathing), cough, lung infection, et al, it's hard to find the primary cause, since you could be misdiagnosed. I suggest you consult a specialist and get proper treatment.
Stay away from Doctor's!  They cost to much! Live until you die. Stop making Pharma Rich.
IN POWERFUL NAME OF JESUS WE PRAY !!!
Yes!
PTL!

This is a nursing guide to people with heart failure. I was thinking some of us take care of family members at home and this guide can be useful.

Nursing Interventions

Restrict sodium intake


Water follows salt! The patient has too much fluid on board and needs to get rid of it, restricting the sodium helps with this.

This means educating the patient on dietary changes that need to happen and be adhered to. Try to stay between 300-600 mg of salt in a serving. Also be aware of salt substitute and the patients K+!


Monitor BNP Normal range: <100 pg/mL


Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP): is a hormone made by the heart. When the heart is stressed or working hard to pump blood, it releases BNP.


Assess respiratory function: Listen to breath sounds Monitor O2 saturation


Fluid can back up into the lungs and cause shortness of breath, especially upon exertion. Be careful about laying these patients flat as you can put them in respiratory distress.

Place the patient on O2 as needed to help them keep their O2 levels adequate.


Administer diuretics: Furosemide (Lasix) Bumetanide (Bumex) Hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide) Spironolactone (Aldactone)


We need to get all this fluid out of the patient… The best way to do this is administer diuretics.

The FIRST thing you do BEFORE you administer a diuretic is have a pee plan. Do not under any circumstances administer a diuretic without a bathroom plan. And a word to the wise, have a backup plan. Meaning if you have a walkie talkie patient with functioning arms and a strong call light finger, I still would set up a bedside commode just.in.case. I walk them to the bathroom or assist them in any way needed, but it is possible that they do not know how urgent their situation is and you can clean up pee, but you can’t clean up that patients dignity.

Diuretics work on different parts of the nephrons. The goal of diuretics is to help the kidneys rid the body of salt (notice I didn’t say sodium (Na+)?) and fluids. It is important to note for every Na+ molecule there is a compound of one water (H20) that follows it. Psssst: potassium is a salt...

There are three kinds of diuretics: Loop, Thiazide, and potassium sparing.

Loop: works on the loop of henle and excretes Na+, K+, and Ca-. (Yikes! Watch your patient’s electrolytes!)

Thiazide: Works on the distal convoluted tubule and blocks the Na+/Cl- symporter (which reabsorbs...you guessed it Na+ and Cl-). This symporter is responsible for about 5% of Na+ reabsorption. So monitor your patient’s sodium and chloride. Oh, and your K+...Why? Because K+, Cl- and Na+ have direct relationships!

Potassium-Sparing: Works on the Na+/K+ pumps in the collecting ducts of the kidney by blocking the effects of aldosterone at that site. Aldosterone has the collecting ducts reabsorbing Na+ and thus water, and for ever Na+ absorbed, one molecule of K+ is excreted. So this diuretic does the opposite of that, saves a K+ and excretes a Na+ and H20.

Most commonly used diuretics in congestive heart failure are loop and sometimes thiazides are used with loop diuretics:
-Furosemide: Loop
-Bumetanide: Loop
-Hydrochlorothiazide: Thiazide
Strict intake and output (I&O’s)
These patients should have around 8 cups of fluid or just slightly under 2 liters of fluid per day. This can change per patient and per doctor recommendation, so make sure to get a goal from the physician.
Monitor swelling/edema
Edema is measured by pressing over a bony prominence, usually the top of the foot or the tibia and is charted by a number and whether the skin bounces back or stays pitted (called pitting edema).
+1: mild indent
+2: Moderate indent
+3: Deep indent
+4: Very deep indent

Grandpa in CHF and Afib, taking furosemide + amiloride as diuretic, is this combination right? Want a 2nd opinon.
Furosemide is the standard diuretic treating fluid build-up and swelling caused by heart, kidney, liver. Amiloride helps prevent the potassium loss associated with all diurectics. This is a classic combination.

Make sure your grandpa is on blood thinner for Afib.
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