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Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
   -Definition of Congestive Heart Failure-
  • It is a syndrome in which the heart is unable to pump an adequate supply of blood to meet the oxygen and nutritional needs of the body.

  • The decrease in amount of blood pumped with each heart contraction causes an increase in circulatory pressure.

-Factors That May Increase Risk-

  • Myocardial infarction

  • Heart arrhythmias

  • Hypertension

  • Congenital heart defects

  • Lung infections and diseases

  • Anemia

  • Obesity

-Signs and Symptoms-

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Edema (fluid retention)

  • Excessive urination at night

  • Cold, sweaty skin

  • Restlessness or confusion

  • Dry or frothy cough

  • Unexplained rapid weight gain

  • Loss of appetite

-Measures to Prevent Congestive Heart Failure-

  • Avoid stress

  • Avoid fatigue by gradually increasing activity, with planned rest periods

  • Eat a well-balanced, low-sodium diet

  • Avoid extremes in temperature

  • Take medication exactly as prescribed

  • Weigh daily to control weight and to detect fluid retention

  • Restrict fluids if ordered

  • Report the following symptoms immediately

    • weight gain

    • loss of appetite

    • increased shortness of breath

    • edema

    • persistent cough

    • frequent urination at night

-Links To Other Informative Sites-



Last updated: 3-4-2008