What is heart failure?

28 October 2016
Comments: 0
28 October 2016, Comments: 0

Heart failure simply means that the heart ceases to function. The heart is not able to fully pump blood through the heart and the body while the pressure in the heart rises. As an outcome, the heart could not sufficiently pump to comply with the requirements of the body.

The chambers of the heart take action by widening to be able to pump more blood through the body. As a result, they become thick and stiff. This helps keep the blood flowing for a while but over time, the walls of the heart muscles weaken and unable to pump strongly. The kidney responds by causing the retention of water and sodium. In case water accumulates in the legs, feet, arms, ankles, lungs or other organs, the body ends up jammed and results to congestive heart failure.

Possible causes of heart failure

Heart failure can be triggered by various conditions that can impair the heart such as the following:

Heart attack

Heart failure

The heart is not able to fully pump blood through the heart and the body while the pressure in the heart rises.

This occurs once a coronary artery is abruptly blocked which stops the flow of blood to the heart muscle and impairs it. The entire heart or a region is deprived of oxygen. Remember that a heart attack can damage the heart muscle which leaves behind a scarred region that no longer functions properly, thus the heart does not function optimally anymore.

Coronary artery disease

This condition affects the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. It reduces the flow of blood to the muscles of the heart. In case the arteries are congested or tapered, the heart is deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients and could not pump normally anymore.


This condition can be caused by issues with the arteries or the blood flow as well as infections and drug or alcohol abuse. There are also other conditions or genetic issues that are considered as possible causes. It is important that the individual will inform the doctor of his/her family health history.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on heart failure is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage circulatory emergencies such as heart failure, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are located in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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