Heart Failure Complications
Even if you are treating your
heart failure successfully, you may develop a complication that can be serious and life-threatening. It is important to identify complications of heart failure as soon as possible, because some can be extremely serious conditions. You can discuss your complications with your doctor and learn to take the proper steps to prevent them. The table below outlines the complications of heart failure.
Common complications of heart failure
What is it?
What problems does it cause?
heart rhythm ( arrhythmia)
Can make heart failure worse
Greatly increases risk of
stroke Can cause palpitations
Ventricular fibrillation or
heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
Reduced functioning of your
Decreased urine output
Fatigue, poor appetite, lethargy Ultimately life-threatening
hemoglobin in red blood cells
brain is deprived of oxygen because its blood supply has been significantly decreased or cut off.
Loss of cognitive or motor function
Can be life-threatening
Heart valve condition (especially
mitral regurgitation) A leaky valve reduces the efficiency of the heart's pumping action.
Can require supplemental
nutrition Can be life-threatening
Leg venous stasis and ulcers
Venous stasis: Your
skin thickens and looks shiny or scaly, your hair might also fall out, your skin may also turn brown or reddish.
Ulcers: Injuries to your swollen legs cause fluid to constantly ooze out of cuts in your skin.
Can predispose to
cellulitis, infection of the skin
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
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Heart Failure Complications Topics