Understanding Heart Failure

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Heart failure
There are many ways to treat people diagnosed with heart failure: diuretics, nitrates, and change of diet. These treatments have been effective but it is important to explore other options. Many of these treatments achieve a relief in symptoms on patients with heart failures but what if we can treat these patients with fewer side effects or increase their survival rate?
Understanding Heart Failure
Before exploring some of the latest research it is important to understand what heart failure is. Heart failure (HF) is an abnormal heart syndrome that involves the inability for the heart to pump and/or fill in a sufficient manner. This causes the body to be unable to obtain the oxygen and nutrients it needs in order function properly.
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Left sided failure is the most common form of heart failure. Left sided failure involves a malfunction on the left ventricle. This malfunction prevents the ventricle to fully pump the blood through the left atrium, therefore causing the blood to pool from the left ventricle into the left atrium, and into the pulmonary veins. This sequence causes the pulmonary pressure to increase and therefore leading into pulmonary congestion, and edema. Right sided heart failure causes the blood to pool in the right atrium and venous circulation. This results in venous congestion in the system circulation which manifests as jugular venous distention, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, vascular congestion of the gastrointestinal tract, and peripheral edema (Lewis, …show more content…
One of the non-specific signs of Heart failure is peripheral edema. Peripheral edema can be the result of sodium and water retention, and can be treated with diuretic therapy but this can be masked if the patient is in diuretic therapy. Due to the patient being in diuretic therapy already, peripheral edema becomes difficult to detect (McMurray et al., 2012). Signs and symptoms such as elevated jugular venous pressure, and palpitation of the apical impulse are much harder to detect, especially if the patient has multiple doctors.
Symptoms of typical Heart Failure include orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dysponea, reduced exercise tolerance, fatigue, tiredness, increased time to recover after exercise, and ankle swelling. Less typical symptoms of Heart Failure include nocturnal cough, wheezing, weight, weight loss (in advance heart failure), bloated feeling, loss of appetite, confusion, depression, palpitations, and syncope detect (McMurray et al., 2012).
Signs of Heart Failure that are more specific include elevated jugular venous return, hepatojugular reflux, third heart sound, laterally displaced apical impulse, cardiac murmur, peripheral edema, crackles sound, reduced air entry and dullness to percussion at lungs bases, tachycardia, irregular pulse, tachypnea , hepatomegaly, ascites, and tissue wasting detect (McMurray et al.,

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