Congestive Heart Failure

By: Allie Rohwer

Background Information

The purposed of the heart is to pump blood to the organs and tissues in your body that need oxygen, when the heart cannot do that properly,not only does the heart experience problems, but so do other organs such as the lungs, liver and kidneys. A disease associated with this would be known as Congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure. "Between 30%-40% of people with CHF will be hospitalized a year, and it is the leading cause of death among the elderly. The average survival rate in mean is 3.2 years and in women is 5.4 years. Unfortunately almost 5 million Americans are living with CHF, and approximately 555,000 cases are diagnosed each year" (Gale).
Audio Heart Sounds of Normal Heart Beat S1 & S2 : Real Time Lub-Dub Sound

Congestive heart failure summary

Congestive heart failure affects the hearts ability to deliver enough blood to the body tissues. This can cause bradycardia and result in the heart failing to pump enough blood to the body, which contains nutrients and oxygen needed for other organs in the body. A build up of fluid in the tissues called edema is common in congestive heart failure. In congestive heart failure depending on where the edema is in the body affects different parts of the heart.Heart Failure caused by abnormality of the left ventricle means that the heart cannot pump blood as fast as it is returns from the lungs. Because the heart cannot get back to the heart it begins to backup in the blood vessels and lungs.The result of this would be pulmonary edema and dyspnea. Another reason for congestive heart failure is abnormalities in the heart structure and rhythm which can also be responsible for left ventricle heart failure. The failure of the heart pumping the blood adequately occurs for two reasons. One being systolic heart failure, which weakens the wall of the ventricle. The heart will then expand. The walls will thicken causing the atria and ventricles to narrow. This would ultimately result in the heart pumping less blood. The second reason is diastolic heart failure. With diastolic heart failure the heart becomes stiff and after contractions it will not completely fill because it wont relax enough for this. If the heart experiences cardiomegaly in order to make up for not enough blood being pumped it is called hypertension and hypotension which is another affect of congestive heart failure. "The kidneys also may also overcompensate for the heart failure along with hepatomegaly." (Gale)

Causes and symptoms for Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is usually affects and caused by previous diseases that weaken the heart. Also an unhealthy lifestyle could contribute to heart failure as well. Some diseases that contributors and can be causes of congestive heart failure (CHF) are; diseases that decrease blood flow through the arteries, prolonged hypertension, a previous heart attack (myocardial infraction), thyroid disease, infection of the endocarditis, damage to the heart from alcohol or drugs, obesity, and kidney disease.

Symptoms of CHF usually go unnoticed until the patient may experience cardiac arrest. Although there are some noticeable symptoms such as, dyspnea (when doing normal day to day activities such as walking or not moving at all), edema in the ankles and legs, and coughing or wheezing , and ultimately death.

Diagnosis and Treatment

CHF can be diagnosed by first getting a physical exam. The symptoms that the patient is experiencing can be indicators of heart failure. Then the Cardiologist will check the lungs and heart with a stethoscope to listen for signs of heart failure. They will listen for murmurs or irregular heart beat, and the lungs for wheezing and crackling if there is fluid in the lungs. They may also listen for Tachpnea. The following tests may also be preformed in order to diagnose CHF; Chest X ray, electrocardiograms, ultrasounds, blood tests, kidney function tests, echocardiograms, etc.

"Treatment does not cure CHF, but it can slow its progression, and lesson the symptoms." (Gale). Some treatments are lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, drug therapy, transplant surgeries, and other alternative surgeries." (Gale).

Word Analysis and Definitions


Brady-(P)- slow

-cardi/o- (CF)- heart

Definition: abnormally slow heartbeat


dys (P)- bad, difficult, abnormal, painful

pnea (S)- breathing

Definition: difficulty breathing


cardi/o- (P)- heart

-megaly (S)- enlargement, large

Definition: The enlargement of the heat


Hyper- (P)- above, beyond, excessive

tension- (S)- tension

Definition: abnormally high blood pressure


hepat/o (Cf)- liver

megaly (S)- enlargement, large

Definition: The enlargement of the liver



-log (R) - study

-ist (S)- one who specializes, agent

Definition: one who specialized is the study of the heart

Other Definitions:

edema- swelling

pulmonary edema- fluid accumulation in the lungs

systolic- the period when the heart contracts

diastolic- the period when the heart relaxes

Works Cited

Congestive Heart Failure Gail Encyclopedia of Medicine. (2015). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from|CX3623300469&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&userGroup=mnabernt

C. (2016). Congestive heart failure. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

Congestive heart failure. (2014). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from