Quick Facts: Congestive Heart Failure

What is congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure happens when your heart does not pump blood as efficiently as it should. It can result from coronary artery disease, high blood or other health conditions.

What are the symptoms of congestive heart failure?

The most common symptoms of congestive heart failure are fluid building up in the body and can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, legs, abdomen and veins in neck

As the heart gets weaker, people who have congestive heart failure might experience shortness of breath when walking across the room or even lying down.

What are the potential complications of congestive heart failure?

Sometimes congestive heart failure can be life threatening.  Potential complications of congestive heart failure include:

  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage or failure
  • Heart valve problems
  • Liver damage

What can I do to help prevent congestive heart failure?

The best way to prevent congestive heart failure is to control potential causes like coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.   Making healthy lifestyle changes is key:

  • Monitor diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Reduce stress
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Do not smoke

What are the treatments for congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure is typically a chronic condition that must be managed with medication. Sometimes, treatment plans include devices that help the heart to beat and contract properly. For some, correcting an underlying condition, such as by repairing a valve, can reverse heart failure.

Many people need two or more types of medication to manage different elements of congestive heart failure.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to care for an underlying condition that led to heart failure.

What are the congestive heart failure rates in the U.S.?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure.

What are the heart disease rates in Prince George’s County?

According to the Prince George’s County Health Department, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Prince George’s County.

How does Doctors Community Hospital help people who have congestive heart failure? 

Doctors Community Hospital’s provides comprehensive congestive heart failure care.  Our Congestive Heart Failure Clinic uses a multidisciplinary care approach that includes the services of knowledgeable pharmacy, nutrition, physical therapy, cardiology, physician assistant, social work, cardiac rehabilitation, home health and hospice care professionals – all on the hospital’s campus.

Learn more about our Congestive Heart Failure Clinic