Heart failure is a life-threatening condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to different parts of the body.
It can affect the left side or right side or both sides of the heart.
Causes of heart failure
- Coronary artery disease: narrowing of blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart.
- Cardiomyopathy : diseases of heart muscle that cause enlargement of the heart.
- Hypertension: High blood pressure.
- Valvular heart disease: diseases affecting valves between chambers of heart.
- Myocarditis : Inflammation of heart muscle caused by a virus.
- Heavy consumption of alcohol.
- Thyroid diseases.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEART FAILURE
- Shortness of breath while walking ,climbing stairs or at rest.
- Swelling of legs,
- General tiredness or weakness,
- A chronic cough,
- Chest discomfort.
- Walking up during the night with sudden breathing difficulty.
PHYSICAL EXAMINATION reveals
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat,
- Distended neck veins,
- Signs of fluid around the lungs,
- Lung crackles,
- Blood pressure may be normal, high , or low.
Chest X-RAY helps to find out fluid accumulation in lungs, and heart enlargement.
This test helps to detect any heart abnormality that may be associated with heart failure.
Uses ultrasonic waves to produce a video image of the heart,The image helps in assessment of pumping capacity of heart as well as any abnormality in heart muscle, heart valves etc.
This procedure is used to identify narrowing of arteries(blood vessels) which supply the heart which may be the cause of heart failure.
In this procedure a thin flexible tube is inserted into the blood vessel through arm or groin which is passed to blood vessels of heart and dye is injected and the picture is obtained.
Chest CT, Cardiac MRI, Blood tests to identify chemical markers of heart failure such as BNP.
- Avoid smoking.
- Regular exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling etc.
- Reduce salt intake.
- Control blood pressure
- Control Diabetes
- Control thyroid diseases.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Control cholesterol.
- ACE Inhibitors: these dilate blood vessels , improve blood flow, decrease workload on the heart.
- Diuretics: These group helps remove excess fluids and sodium from the body.
- Beta blockers: Slows heart rate and reduce blood pressure.
- Digitalis: Increase ability of heart muscle to contract properly.
SURGERY AND MEDICAL DEVICES:
CABG(Coronary artery bypass grafting) and ANGIOPLASTY :
Used to treat severely narrowed coronary arteries that contribute to heart failure.
Implantable cardioverter - defibrillators(ICD).
ICD monitors irregular heart rhythm and sends electrical shocks to correct this irregularity.
they are implanted under the skin and attached to heart with small wires.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy.(CRT)
This is a type of pacemaker-like device which sends timed electrical signals to heart chambers allow them to pump synchronous and efficient manner.
Heart pumps (left ventricular assist devices)
These mechanical devices are implanted into the abdomen and attached to weakened heart to help it to pump better.