Chf Essay

1735 Words Mar 13th, 2013 7 Pages
Congestive Heart Failure

Introduction

Everyone loses pumping ability in their heart as they age. The serious case of heart failure develops when other health conditions cause the heart to work harder or become damaged due to increased stress. Heart failure is usually a chronic disease. It gradually tends to become worse. By the time someone is diagnosed with it, the heart has most likely begun to lose pumping capacity for quits some time. Nearly five million Americans are living with heart failure and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. This paper will discuss what heart failure is, and what nursing interventions may be of help to patients who suffer from this disease. My grandmother was recently diagnosed with congestive
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This excess fluid or congestion is where the term congestive heart failure comes from.

Right - sided failure is often a result of left - sided failure. When the left side fails, increased fluid pressure develops in the lungs and damages the heart’s right side. When pumping power is lost in the right side, blood backs up in the veins causing swelling in the legs and ankles.

The heart tries to make up for loss of pumping capacity in three ways enlarging, developing more muscle mass, and pumping faster. By enlarging, the heart contracts more strongly and pumps more blood. When the contracting cells of the heart increase in size, an increase in muscle mass also occurs. Pumping faster helps to increase the heart’s output.

The body also does other things to help compensate for the loss in power in the heart. Blood vessels narrow to keep the blood pressure up. The body diverts the majority of the blood to the heart and the brain. Eventually the heart can’t keep up and the person will suffer from fatigue, breathing problems or various other symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, loss of appetite, nausea, confusion, or increased heart rate. Factors such as smoking, being overweight, having a diet high in fat and cholesterol, and not exercising can contribute to heart failure.

Background

After reviewing medical journals related to my topic, I discovered that many physicians and nurses think that congestive heart failure is