Failure Of Congestive Heart Failure

2459 Words Feb 22nd, 2016 10 Pages
Approximately 2-3 million Americans, more than one percent of the population, are currently affected by this medical problem with numbers increasing frequently (Drug Store News, 1997). Congestive heart failure tends to be more common in the elderly, men, and also African Americans. Congestive heart failure has become the most common cause for current hospital admissions. Among causing prolonged hospital stays congestive heart failure has a very high mortality rate, which has declined since recent medical advancements.
So what is congestive heart failure? A simple definition is the heart 's inability to pump blood to the rest of the body but it goes way beyond that. The body’s natural mechanisms try to compensate for the changes that
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This negative feedback loop in most conditions is good, but with congestive heart failure it forces the heart to work harder causing advancement of the disease.
Right-sided heart failure consists of the heart unable to pump blood to the lungs. This can cause right ventricular hypertrophy, and fluid will start to back up into the body causing edema where gravity determines. Lying down may cause edema in the buttocks and flank areas but most commonly people see edema in their ankles and legs along with increase weight gain over short periods of time. This type of congestive heart failure is still very important and should be seen by a physician to prevent further problems, because patients with right sided heart failure are at high risk for left sided heart failure.
Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure can range from mild to severe. They also can be associated with many other disease processes making congestive heart failure harder to diagnose. Even most doctors have to run numerous amounts of tests to confirm the diagnosis without 100% certainty. Patients may present with shortness of breath, rales (fluid in lungs), peripheral or pulmonary edema, dizziness, fatigue, dyspnea on exertion, rapid and excess weight gain, jugular venous distention, reduced ejection fraction, severe hypertension or hypotension, and failed stress tests (Drug Store News, 1997). These symptoms are not specific enough for a clear diagnosis so additional testing is usually

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