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Heart Failure Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Heart Failure

  1. Exams and Tests

    Heart failure is a complex medical condition. There are several types of heart failure and a variety of causes. For these reasons, you will likely have several different tests over a period of time to help diagnose the cause of the disease and find out how severe it is. In some cases the cause of heart failure can be fixed (such as a heart valve defect) or is easily treatable (such as a thyroid ..

  2. Surgery

    People who have heart failure with chest pain (angina) or who have had a heart attack in the past may benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty to open clogged arteries. Some people may have surgery to repair specific underlying causes of heart failure, such as damaged valves. In cases that have a specific treatable cause, surgery sometimes can greatly improve or eliminate heart .

  3. Digoxin for Heart Failure

    Drug details for Digoxin for heart failure.

  4. When to Call a Doctor

    Callor other emergency services immediately if you have:Chest pain that has not gone away within 5 minutes after taking one nitroglycerin and/or resting, especially if the pain is pressing or crushing and occurs with shortness of breath, sweating, and nausea.Symptoms of a stroke. These include: Sudden onset of tingling, numbness, weakness, or inability to move (paralysis) part or all of one side .

  5. Health Tools

    Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health. Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems. Heart Failure: Should I Get a Pacemaker (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)? Heart Failure: Should I Get an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)? Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role ...

  6. Topic Overview

    One of the most frightening aspects about having heart failure is that it can lead to premature death. The increased death rate among people with heart failure is in part caused by the tendency of those with heart failure to develop abnormal heart rhythms. Some people with heart failure die suddenly from abnormal rapid heart rhythms (called ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation) ...

  7. Vasodilators for Heart Failure

    Drug details for Vasodilators for heart failure.

  8. Oxygen Therapy for Heart Failure

    Drug details for Oxygen therapy for heart failure.

  9. Pacemaker for Heart Failure (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy)

    Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) uses a special type of pacemaker called a biventricular pacemaker (say by-ven-TRICK-yuh-ler) to treat heart failure. This pacemaker sends electrical pulses to make the ventricles pump at the same time. A biventricular pacemaker is implanted in the chest, and it connects to three thin wires, called leads. The leads go into different chambers of your heart. If there is a problem with your heartbeat, the pacemaker sends a painless signal through the leads to fix the problem. The pacemaker also can speed up your heart if it is beating too slowly. In some cases, you may get a pacemaker that is combined with a device to shock your heartbeat back to a normal rhythm if it is dangerously fast. The device is called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or ICD. It can prevent sudden death. Your doctor will put the pacemaker in your chest during minor surgery. You will not have open-chest surgery.Your doctor makes a small cut (incision) in your chest.

  10. Topic Overview

    What is heart failure?Heart failure means your heart muscle does not pump as much blood as your body needs. Failure does not mean that your heart has stopped. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as it should.Because your heart cannot pump well, your body tries to make up for it. To do this: Your body holds on to salt and water. This increases the amount of blood in your bloodstream. ..

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