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    Heart Failure

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    Illustration copyright 2003 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.nucleusinc.com

    Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle does not pump as much blood as the body needs. Failure does not mean that the heart has stopped pumping but rather that it is failing to pump as effectively as it should.

    The body tries to compensate for the heart's reduced pumping ability by:

    • Holding on to (retaining) salt and water to increase the amount of blood in the bloodstream.
    • Increasing the heart rate.
    • Increasing the size of the heart.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
    Specialist Medical ReviewerStephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology

    Current as ofMarch 12, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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