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Care Transitions:  Congestive Heart Failure - Pt. 1

May 04, 2012

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is one of the three key diagnoses being measure with respect to the re-hospitalization for older adults.  CHF is a progressive disease that causes weakening of the heart and the cardiovascular system, and occurs as a result of the following:

  • The heart pumps at a weaker rate than normal
  • Blood flows from the heart through the body more slowly and the heart is working harder
  • The chambers of the heart fill with more blood because the heart is not able to pump the blood from the heart
  • The heart muscle weakens
  • The body begins to retain fluids in the arms, legs, ankles, feet and lungs

Some estimates put the incidence of congestive hear failure at nearly 5 million Americans.  Furthermore, the prevalence of heart failure doubles with every 10 years of ages.  Heart failure is chronic, meaning is doesn't go away.  When suffering a heart attack, or when symptoms become acute, time is of the essence.  It is critical to understand the symptoms of heart failure, and know what to do when the symptoms are observed.

Our next blog will highlight the symptoms of CHF.  Stay tuned!