What is Heart Failure?

NORMAL HEART

The human heart has four chambers that work together in powerful contractions (heartbeats) to pump blood through your body.

With each heartbeat, the right upper and lower chambers of the heart gather blood from the body and send it to the lungs to pick up fresh oxygen (Shown by blue arrows).

At the same time, the left upper and lower chambers of the heart gather blood carrying oxygen from the lungs and pump it out to the body (Shown by the red arrows).

HEART FAILURE HEART

When heart failure occurs:

  • The heart muscle is weakened
  • The heart enlarges and stretches
  • There is reduced oxygen delivery to organs such as the brain and kidneys
  • The lower chambers of the heart do not contract together as they should (or phrase this in a way we’ve previously stated it to patients)

More information available on:

www.asktheicd.com

NORMAL HEART

RIGHT ATRIUM
RIGHT VENTRICLE
LEFT ATRIUM
LEFT VENTRICLE

HEART FAILURE HEART

VENTRICULAR CHAMBERS DILATE AND MAY THICKEN
DECREASED CAPACITY TO FILL AND EMPTY BLOOD

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What are the symptoms of heart failure?

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of feet and legs
  • Chronic lack of energy
  • Difficulty sleeping at night due to breathing problems
  • Cough with frothy sputum
  • Swollen or tender abdomen with loss of appetite
  • Increased urination at night
  • Confusion and / or impaired memory