Heart failure describes a condition where the heart muscle becomes too weak to maintain an adequate cardiac output (pumping of blood around the body) to meet the body’s oxygen’s needs. The heart muscle may have become weakened due to a variety of reasons, for example, hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attack, valve problems etc.
A person suffering from heart failure often experiences breathlessness and/or oedema (a build up of fluid) most often in the legs and ankles. There are varying levels (classifications) of heart failure and treatment usually consists of improving symptoms and preventing progression of the disease. This may include lifestyle changes, medical therapy, pacing and in severe cases, a heart transplant may be considered.