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Conditions & Diseases: Cardiovascular System

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Congestive Heart Failure

See Also:
Congestive Heart Failure: Introduction & Pictures
Congestive Heart Failure: Types
Congestive Heart Failure: Causes & Risk Factors
Congestive Heart Failure: Signs & Symptoms
Congestive Heart Failure: Medical Tests & Diagnosis
Congestive Heart Failure: Treatment & Prevention Options

Introduction/Overview

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is the inability of the heart to pump oxygenated blood to different muscles, tissues and organs due to weakening of heart’s muscles leading to retention of oxygenated blood in the lower chamber of the heart (left ventricle) and lungs. This weakened pumping action of the heart causes accumulation of body fluid (water) in the lungs, kidneys, arms, legs ankles and feet (1). Congestive heart failure is mainly due to:

  • Systolic Dysfunction – When the heart cannot pump oxygenated blood to suffice the body’s needs.

  • Diastolic Dysfunction – When the heart is unable to accept all the blood being sent to it. (2)

Normally, the heart pumps more than 50% of the blood that fills in it during every heart beat, but in case of patients suffering from heart failure, less than 40% of their blood is pumped out during each heart beat and a large portion of the blood remains in the heart - leaving less room for blood coming from the lungs during the next heart beat. This results in backing up of blood into the body. (3)

Approximately 550,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. It is the most common hospital receiving diagnosis with more than one million hospital stays annually. A person 40 years or more has a 1 in 5 chance of developing heart failure. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) affects 1% of the people aged 50 years and older, 5% people aged 75 years or older, and 25% people aged 85 years or older irrespective of sex. (4,5)

See Also:
Congestive Heart Failure: Introduction & Pictures
Congestive Heart Failure: Types
Congestive Heart Failure: Causes & Risk Factors
Congestive Heart Failure: Signs & Symptoms
Congestive Heart Failure: Medical Tests & Diagnosis
Congestive Heart Failure: Treatment & Prevention Options

Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
Medical Writer,
OmniMedicalSearch.com

 

Human Heart Diagram

Diagram of the human heart showing major features and direction of blood flow.

Location of heart in relation to chest.

Chest X Ray with Pacemaker implanted

Chest X-Ray showing an implanted pacemaker.

Arterial Stent

Stent's like this one are inserted into arteries to help keep them open, allowing blood to flow.

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Page Last Modified:
02/21/2011