Heart Failure

Transcript

Dr. Phillips
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Dr. Patel, can you tell us about heart failure?

Dr. Patel
Definitely, Dr. Phillips. When the coronary arteries narrow and harden due to plaque buildup, the heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. This can damage the heart muscle. As a result, the heart may not be able to fill with enough blood, or it may not be able to pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force.

Heart failure can affect the right side of the heart only, but in most cases, it affects both sides. Right-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. This may cause fluid to build up in the feet, ankles, legs, liver, abdomen, and the veins in the neck. Swelling, weight gain, and frequent urination are common symptoms of fluid buildup in the body.

Left-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. This can lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which can cause shortness of breath and fatigue. A cough that's worse at night or when lying down is a sign that there's too much fluid in the lungs. This is a condition called acute pulmonary edema, which requires emergency treatment.