Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. In some cases, the heart can't fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can't pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. It usually occurs because the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work properly.
HOW IS HEART FAILURE DIAGNOSED?
The heart specialist will diagnose the condition by a physical examination and ask for details of medical history. A number of tests may be recommended which include:
• blood tests – to check whether there is anything in your blood that might indicate heart failure or some other illness
• breathing test – one may be asked to blow into a tube to check whether a lung problem is contributing to breathlessness
• an electrocardiogram (ECG) – this records the electrical activity of the heart
• an echocardiogram – where sound waves are used to examine your heart and check how well it is pumping and whether there are valve problems
HOW IS HEART FAILURE TREATED?
Treatment for heart failure depends on the extent of the problem. In the earlier or less severe cases, medication, controlled diet, etc. are suggested. In more severe situations, heart transplant, surgeries and intravenous inotropic drugs are recommended.
DID YOU KNOW?
This problem may start off as a minor situation but tends to get worse with time and can be fatal.