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Learn about Heart Failure and treatments

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Heart failure is a serious, long-term (chronic) condition. It’s more likely to happen as you age, but anyone can develop heart failure. Still, if you have heart failure, you can live a full and active life with the right medical treatment and lifestyle.

Your body depends on the heart’s pumping action to deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the body’s cells. When the cells are nourished properly, the body can function normally. With heart failure, the weakened heart can’t supply the cells with enough blood. This results in fatigue and shortness of breath and some people have coughing. Everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or carrying groceries can become very difficult.

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Basically, the heart can’t keep up with its workload

Don't give up when you hear "Heart Failure"

The term “heart failure” makes it sound like the heart is no longer working at all and there’s nothing that can be done. Actually, heart failure means that the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be. This condition should be considered seriously, and as soon as possible.

However, there are options depending on the type and progression of the Heart Failure

Different type of Heart failure

Left-sided heart failure

The heart's pumping action moves oxygen-rich blood as it travels from the lungs to the left atrium, then on to the left ventricle, which pumps it to the rest of the body. The left ventricle supplies most of the heart's pumping power, so it's larger than the other chambers and essential for normal function. In left-sided or left ventricular (LV) heart failure, the left side of the heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood.

There are two types of left-sided heart failure. Treatments are different for each type.

  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), also called systolic failure: The left ventricle loses its ability to contract normally. The heart can't pump with enough force to push enough blood into circulation.

  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), also called diastolic failure (or diastolic dysfunction): The left ventricle loses its ability to relax normally (because the muscle has become stiff). The heart can't properly fill with blood during the resting period between each beat.

  • Right-sided heart failure

The heart's pumping action moves "used" blood that returns to the heart through the veins through the right atrium into the right ventricle. The right ventricle then pumps the blood back out of the heart into the lungs to be replenished with oxygen.

Right-sided or right ventricular (RV) heart failure usually occurs as a result of left-sided failure. When the left ventricle fails, increased fluid pressure is, in effect, transferred back through the lungs, ultimately damaging the heart's right side. When the right side loses pumping power, blood backs up in the body's veins. This usually causes swelling or congestion in the legs, ankles, and swelling within the abdomen such as the GI tract and liver (causing ascites).

  • Congestive heart failure

As blood flow out of the heart slows, blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the body's tissues. Often swelling (edema) results. Most often there's swelling in the legs and ankles, but it can happen in other parts of the body, too.

Sometimes fluid collects in the lungs and interferes with breathing, causing shortness of breath, especially when a person is lying down. This is called pulmonary edema and if left untreated can cause respiratory distress.

Heart failure also affects the kidneys' ability to dispose of sodium and water. This retained water also increases swelling in the body's tissues (edema).

Understand the causes and conditions leading to Heart Failure

Most people who develop heart failure have (or had) another heart condition first. The most common conditions that can lead to heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and previous heart attack. If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, it’s critical that you manage it carefully to help prevent the onset of heart failure.


Monitor your heart failure from the comfort of your home

Cardiology Specialists Medical Group is leading the remote monitoring technology for Heart Failure in the Inland Empire.

The CardioMEMS™ HF System helps your healthcare provider understand when your heart failure is getting worse, often before you notice symptoms.

The sensor measures pressures in your lungs that rise when fluid increases because the heart is too weak or stiff to pump effectively.

With these pressure readings, your care team can then take steps to manage your heart failure before it has serious effects on your quality of life or puts you back in the hospital.

Ask our Cardiologists if CardioMEMS is for you

Ask your question via our secure contact form here


Controle su insuficiencia cardíaca desde la comodidad de su hogar

Cardiology Specialists Medical Group lidera la tecnología de monitoreo remoto o insuficiencia cardíaca en el Inland Empire.

El CardioMEMS™ HF sistema ayuda a su proveedor de atención médica a comprender cuándo su insuficiencia cardíaca empeora, a menudo antes de que note síntomas.

El sensor mide las presiones en los pulmones que aumentan cuando aumenta el líquido porque el corazón está demasiado débil o rígido para bombear con eficacia.

Pregunte a nuestros cardiólogos si CardioMEMS es para usted.

Haga su pregunta a través de nuestro formulario de contacto seguro aquí


Additional very useful and free resources from the American Heart Association:

Recursos adicionales muy útiles y gratuitos de la American Heart Association:


source: American Heart Association


The information contained in this web site is presented for information purposes only and is not intended to substitute in any way a consultation with a physician or competent healthcare professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment.


Cardiology Specialists Medical Group is a group of 10 Cardiologists in the Inland Empire, California. CSMG offers general cardiology, Electrophysiology, EP studies, and Interventional cardiology with the newest non-invasive procedures in the area.


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