Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)


The heart does not pump with enough force or pump a large enough volume of blood to adequately perfuse the tissues and the organs of the body. This results in a black log of fluid pooling in the lungs and other tissues of the body.




  • chronic poor blood flow to the heart (may or may not be accompanied by angina)

  • heart muscle damage from previous heart attack

  • high blood pressure

  • heart valve disease

  • cardiopathology infection of the heart

  • excessive use of alcohol or drugs

  • Idopathologic cardiopathology


Signs and Symptoms


  • Shortness of breath (SOB)

  • Swollen ankles or legs

  • Sudden weight gain

  • Tiredness or loss of energy

  • Sudden loss or change in appetite




  • fluid restriction

  • limit alcohol intake or abstain

  • medications

  • diet/ behavior modification

  • low levels of physical activity (walking, swimming) – increase muscle fitness, no strenuous excercise


  • symptom control

  • preventing disease progression

  • goal to prevent development of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) (causes respiratory distress)







Bedard, Dale, Hoeschen, R, J, Klassen, Linda, Kertland, H, Savage, Marlene, and Tam, J. 2006. Congestive Heart Failure. Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Bloomington Hospital. CHF. Retrieved October 2, 2009 from


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