Heart failure is the term given when the heart’s ability to pump efficiently is reduced. in acute heart failure, the condition develops suddenly, usually due to a severe heart attack. In most cases, only the left side of the heart is affected by acute heart failure. this side of the heart receives blood rich in oxygen directly from the lungs and pumps it to the rest of the body. If acute heart failure develops, a backup of blood occurs in the blood vessels leading from the lungs to the heart. Back pressure then causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs. this buildup of fluid is called pulmonary edema, and if it is not treated immediately, is life-threatening.
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What are the causes?
The most common cause of acute heart failure is a severe myocardial infarction that damages a large area of heart muscle. The condition may also be caused by a acute infection of a heart valve. acute heart failure may develop in people with complete heart block or those with chronic heart failure if the weakened heart is put under more strain. for example, a severe infection, such as pneumonia, may increase the workload on the heart and lead to acute heart failure.
Right-sided acute heart failure is rare and is usually due to a blood clot blocking the pulmonary artery, which is the blood vessel that leads from the lungs to the right side of the heart.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of acute heart failure usually develop rapidly and include:
Â· Severe shortness of breadth.
Â· Cough with pink, frothy sputum.
Â· Cale skin and sweating.
If acute heart failure is caused by a heart attack, you may have additional symptoms such as intense, prolonged chest pain and feelings of anxiety. If heart failure is caused by a pulmonary embolism, you may cough up blood and have sharp chest pain that is worse when inhaling. if acute heart failure is not treated, it can cause dangerously low blood pressure, and the condition may then be fatal.
What might be done?
Acute heart failure is a medical emergency and requires immediate hospital treatment. You will be advised to sit in an upright position you make breathing easier, and oxygen may be given to you through a face mask. Diuretics may be administered intravenously to reduce the accumulation of fluid in the lungs and make breathing easier.
You may need electrocardiography to evaluate the function of the heart and to look for the cause of heart failure. a chest x-ray usually confirms the presence of fluid in the lungs. Once your symptoms are under control, you may also have coronary angiography to look for blockages in the coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle.
Prompt treatment usually relieves the symptoms. long-term treatment depends on the underlying cause. in some cases, the cause cannot be treated and acute heart failure may be fatal.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.