Congestive heart failure means that the heart’s pumping power is weaker than normal. With Congestive heart failure blood moves through the heart at a slower rate. This increases the pressure and the volume in the heart, therefor the heart becomes congested. As the result, the heart cannot pump enough blood, oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s demand.
We can divide Congestive heart failure into the left sided heart failure, and the right sided heart failure. The left sided heart failure includes the left atrium and ventricle and the right sided heart failure includes the right atrium and ventricle.
Congestive heart failure can be either due to systolic dysfunction, which is the inability of the heart to contract and pump out the blood, or diastolic dysfunction, which is the inability for the heart to relax.
Even though both the left and the right sided heart failure pretty much have the same clinical features. The left sided heart failure presents with symptoms associated with Pulmonary edema, which is due to failure of the left ventricle to sufficiently remove blood from the pulmonary circulation. This leads to fluid accumulation in the lugs and the clinical features such as:
Also since the heart is not pumping out enough blood, there is going to be decreased in forward perfusion. This leads to activation of Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone system, which causes fluid retention and worsens the symptom of Congestive heart failure.
The most common cause of right-sided heart failure is actually left-sided heart failure (either systolic or diastolic heart failure) and the common clinical features include,
In order to prevent Congestive heart failure we must first focus on the modifying the patients life style by encouraging the patient to:
These are all equally effective in preventing diastolic and systolic heart failure
The pharmacological management for Systolic dysfunction heart failure includes:
Medical therapies for diastolic dysfunction heart failure are not as well defined as therapies for systolic heart failure. Some of the medications that are used include: