Heart Failure Basics
This disease is caused by a weakening of the heart muscle. It primarily affects the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber. In a heart with dilated cardiomyopathy, the diseased muscle fibers have stretched and the chamber has enlarged to make up for its lost pumping power. A heart affected by dilated cardiomyopathy has difficulty supplying enough blood flow to meet the body's needs. This can result in heart failure.
Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, has several symptoms including shortness of breath, fluid buildup (edema) and fatigue. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, it's important for you to manage and keep track of symptoms and report any sudden changes to your healthcare team.
About 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure today. In fact, it's one of the most common reasons why people 65 and older go into the hospital. Fortunately, heart failure can be treated. Getting good medical care, following doctor's orders and learning about heart failure will help you lead a comfortable life. You can help by taking your medicine as your doctor tells you, and by following your eating and exercise plans.
Heart Failure Lifestyle Changes
The hospital is no one's favorite place to be and after an extended stay the last thing a patient wants to do is go back. "Avoiding Hospital Readmissions: Heart Failure" discusses a patient's role in preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions. It covers critical information on how to better understand discharge instructions and continued recovery at home.