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Learn about Heart Failure, its Prevention, and TreatmentWhat Happens When You Have Heart Failure?

How are patients taken to hospital by ambulance diagnosed and treated?

  • Patient scene reenacted by actors
POINT 1
Doctors check vitals and observe symptoms.
POINT 2
If the patient is having a lot of trouble breathing, oxygen is given to ease breathing
POINT 3
An echocardiogram and ECG tests are carried out, and drug treatment begins.

Important points to remember after acute treatment

  • Patient scene reenacted by actors
POINT 1
The patient should remember the symptoms he/she experienced before they became severe (acutely exacerbated).
POINT 2
The doctor should discuss with the patient how symptoms such as swelling, shortness of breath, and sluggishness arose.
POINT 3
Going forwards, the patient should pay attention to early signs of possible worsening heart failure.

What are the points to remember when being discharged?

  • Patient scene reenacted by actors
POINT 1
Heart failure symptoms can temporarily improve, but heart failure itself does not go away.
POINT 2
Take prescribed medicines every day exactly as directed.
POINT 3
Get regular outpatient examinations.

Shortness of breath

POINT 1
Shortness of breath progresses gradually.
At first, you feel short of breath when you're exerting yourself by walking or climbing stairs.
POINT 2
After a while, you develop paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND). Breathing becomes difficult 1-2 hours after you go to bed, and sitting up brings relief.
POINT 3
You then develop orthopnea, meaning lying down is even more difficult and sitting up is more comfortable.
When this happens, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Swelling

POINT 1
Swelling needs to be checked every day. Get into the habit of checking each morning when you get up by pressing your shins with your fingers.
POINT 2
Bedridden patients who normally spend their days lying down will develop swelling on their back.
Every day you should check your sacrum, a bone located at the bottom of the spine.
If checking for swelling leaves indentations where you pressed, you need to see your doctor immediately.
POINT 3
Increased body weight is also a sign of swelling. If your weight increases 2-3kg or more in a week, you probably have swelling.
It is important to be aware of swelling and changes in your body weight.

Lethargy

POINT 1
Pay close attention to sluggishness, too.
POINT 2
If you feel lethargic and have no desire to do anything - in other words, you don't want to move, have no appetite, or feel bloated - be aware you might have worsening heart failure, and must be seen by your doctor.