Sudden heart failure happens when your heart suddenly cannot not pump as much blood as your body needs.
Certain triggers can cause sudden heart failure. These triggers upset the delicate balance in your body, making it harder for your heart to pump effectively.
Triggers you can control
You can help prevent sudden heart failure by avoiding the triggers that cause it.
Pay attention to your symptoms and know when to call your doctor. Changes in
your weight, difficulty breathing, decreased appetite, and swelling (usually
first noticed in the feet and legs) may be signs that your heart failure is
Keep your diet, exercise, and medicine routine as
close to the same schedule as possible.
Take your medicine properly.
Avoid things that you know
can trigger heart failure, such as eating too much salt or exercising very hard.
Triggers you cannot control
Unfortunately, many health problems can also cause sudden heart failure. These include:
(emboli) in organs (other than the heart), especially the lungs. Blood clots
increase the pressure against which the heart must contract. Blood clots in the
lungs also decrease the amount of blood returning from the lungs to the left
side of the heart.
Inflammation of the pericardium, which is the
sac around the heart. This inflammation is called
Lung infections (pneumonia).
heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Certain medicines used to treat
arrhythmias. These medicines may also increase the risk of heart
Conditions that affect a person's oxygen demands, such as
fever, poorly oxygenated blood (anemia), thyroid problems, and poorly controlled
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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