Decompensated heart failure: What you need to know

The article was professionally consulted by Specialist Doctor II Nguyen Quoc Viet, Department of Medical Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Da Nang International General Hospital
Decompensated heart failure is the end result of cardiovascular disease or when there is a cause other than cardiovascular such as kidney failure, blood loss, a heart-damaging viral infection that affects the heart and causes this condition.

1. Symptoms of decompensated heart failure

In the case of compensated heart failure, the patient is usually asymptomatic or the symptoms "remain stable" with current treatment. But when it has turned to decompensated heart failure, the symptoms will occur rapidly and at an increasingly severe level. The heart cannot do its job, the amount of blood going to the body will not be enough, making the body tired, short of breath, chest pain, sometimes fainting.
Shortness of breath, cough with exertion, paroxysmal nocturnal paresthesia, especially when lying down, it becomes more difficult to breathe and cough more. Fatigue, chest pain Body anxiety, poor appetite Memory loss, body sweating Sweat a lot Blood pressure drops, heart beat is pounding Edema soft extremities pressing concave As the disease gets worse, these symptoms will be more obvious and greatly affect quality of life if not treated promptly. The patient is at high risk of life-threatening illness.
In the elderly, certain other illnesses or when the body's immune system is weakened can mask the symptoms of decompensated heart failure. Therefore, when you see unclear symptoms, not sure what the cause is, it is best to seek the help of medical staff to minimize the possible risks.
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2. Causes of decompensated heart failure

The most dangerous decompensated heart failure is the progression from chronic heart failure because it cannot be cured. Heart failure is a common consequence of cardiovascular diseases, so in people with cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, hypertension, severe arrhythmia... Both lead to heart failure.
In most cases, people without heart failure still have a decompensated heart failure due to the following reasons:
Systemic infection Anaphylactic shock Acute pulmonary edema Viral infection that damages the heart Human cardiopulmonary surgery create severe arrhythmia

3. Treatment of decompensated heart failure

3.1 Drug use Commonly used drug groups in the treatment of decompensated heart failure are:
Diuretics: help reduce circulating volume, reduce the burden on the heart and solve the phenomenon of pulmonary edema, leg and abdominal edema... Vasodilators: calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers... Cardiac drugs: help increase contractile force for the heart. Antiarrhythmic drugs: help reduce tachycardia, palpitations. Anticoagulants: prevent complications of myocardial infarction, stroke... caused by blood clots. Sedatives: to reduce anxiety and stress for patients.
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3.2 Lifestyle changes Heart healthy eating: Limit salt intake to less than 1.5g per day; eat more foods rich in fiber and potassium such as pumpkin, watermelon, legumes, tomatoes... Cut down on foods high in fat, sugar...
Quit smoking: Smoking increases the heart rate heart, damage blood vessels and heart muscle, so the patient should absolutely not smoke.
Exercise regularly: A regular exercise plan will help improve symptoms of decompensated heart failure effectively. Patients should not exercise strenuously, intensely, but should start with gentle exercises and gradually increase the intensity according to their ability.
Prevention of infectious diseases: Patients should get a flu shot in the fall, good oral hygiene...
Keep psychological comfort: Worrying, thinking too much can make the disease worse. Therefore, patients need to receive help, care and encouragement from family, relatives and friends to feel secure in treatment.
Periodic health check-up: Patients with decompensated heart failure should go to the doctor at least once a year or as soon as symptoms appear.
3.3 Surgery If decompensated heart failure becomes more severe, the doctor may recommend some surgical interventions depending on the cause:
Bypass surgery, stenting: to open the airways. Increases blood flow to the heart. This method is used when coronary artery disease is the cause of heart failure. Heart valve surgery: Your doctor may repair or replace a new heart valve if the cause of your decompensated heart failure is valvular disease. Pacemaker resynchronization therapy (CTR): In patients with bradycardia, decompensated heart failure may progress to more severe disease. Your doctor will implant a pacemaker to help your heart beat steadily and synchronously. Implantable defibrillator: The machine is placed under the skin in the chest, if an abnormal heart rhythm or cardiac arrest is detected, the machine will adjust to return the heart rate to normal. Ventricular assist devices: implanted in the chest and abdomen to help the heart pump blood more efficiently. Heart transplant : This major surgery will be indicated when the heart failure is severe and does not respond to any other treatment. In order to help customers detect cardiovascular diseases early and accurately, thereby having timely treatment and preventing complications, Vinmec International General Hospital has a Heart Failure Examination Package, helping to identify the state of heart failure. heart failure, degree of heart failure, cause of heart failure, comorbidities.
When registering for the Heart Failure Examination Package, customers will receive:
Cardiology specialist examination. Total analysis of 24-hour urine and blood cells by automatic counter. Measure Glucose, Uric Acid, Ionized Calcium, Cholesterol, ... Measure AST (GOT) and ALT (GPT) activities. Electrolyte (Na/K/Cl) and electrocardiogram. Echocardiography and X-ray. Some other necessary related services.

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