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Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure

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Published by dlneisha61

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Published by: dlneisha61 on Mar 19, 2009
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Congestive Heart FailureAlexis J. A. CoCo12-07-03A & P IIMW 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Congestive Heart Failure, or CHF, is a condition in which the heart can notpump enough blood to the body’s other organs.
This can be caused by thefollowing: scar tissue from a previous heart attack that interferes with the heart’snormal work, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, cardiomyopathy, a heartdefect present at birth, coronary artery disease, endocarditis and/or myocarditis.
Another definition of congestive heart failure is when the heart is unable toadequately pump blood throughout the body and/or unable to prevent blood from“backing up” into the lungs.
This condition may cause symptoms such asdyspnea, fatigue, weakness, edema of the legs and sometimes abdomen.
Atone point in time congestive heart failure was an almost untreatable disorder.Luckily today there are lots of important and effective measures that can beutilized to improve symptoms and the survival of the patients with CHF.
When you hear the term heart failure it would seem as if the heart justquits working all together. This is not the case, it does not stop workingcompletely, it just does not work enough to deliver all of the oxygen – rich bloodthe body needs.
As the heart’s ability to pump weakens , it can not distributeenough blood to meet the needs of the body.
With an increased stress on theheart muscle, its ability to contract is reduced and cardiac output declines.
Blood flow into the ventricles pretty much remains the same. Without the abilityto eject normal amounts of blood, the ventricles begin to accumulate blood.
Asthe amount of blood in the ventricles increases, the heart makes both short andlong term adaptations.
Blood accumulation in the ventricles causes ventricular muscle fibers to increase in length at the end of the diastole.
As end-diastolic
fiber length increases, the muscles respond by dilating and increasing force of contraction.
If heart failure continues long enough, ventricular hypertrophyoccurs.
The myocardium enlarges, increasing the heart’s ability to push bloodinto circulation.
Ventricular hypertrophy can adequately compensate for heartfailure for a little while, but eventually the heart weakens and acute failureensues.
The underlying heart conditions that commonly cause congestiveheart failure, such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, typicallydevelop slowly over many years.
The most severe manifestation of CHF,pulmonary edema, develops when the imbalance causes an increase in lung fluidsecondary to leakage from pulmonary capillaries into the interstitium and alveoliof the lung.
 There are many ways to classify CHF there is right or left sided heartfailure, forward or backward heart failure and acute or chronic heart failure.
Right sided heart failure is when the ability of the right ventricle to contract isimpaired or ineffective.
Left sided failure occurs most often and results fromprofound backflow of the blood into the left ventricle.
Forward heart failure iscaused by increased peripheral resistance. Backward heart failure results whenthe left ventricle fails to empty completely.
Acute heart failure is when thesigns and symptoms are new and compensatory mechanisms such as naturaldiuresis have not engaged yet. Chronic heart failure describes a condition wheresigns and symptoms have been present for an extended period andcompensatory mechanisms have taken effect.

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