Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body’s other organs. The heart keeps pumping, but not as efficiently as a healthy heart. Usually, the loss in the heart’s pumping action is a symptom of an underlying heart problem. Nearly 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure, and 670,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Heart failure is a heart condition requiring medical attention and oversight, along with the patient’s participation in managing symptoms and seeking appropriate care. Common symptoms can include:

Common Symptoms of Heart Failure include:

  • shortness of breath during rest, exercise, or lying flat
  • weight gain
  • visible swelling of the legs and ankles (because of a build-up of fluid), and, occasionally, the abdomen
  • fatigue and weakness
  • loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain
  • persistent cough – often produces mucus or blood-tinged sputum
  • reduced urination

 Parkwest has developed a Heart Failure Patient Information Guide for patients who are being treated for heart failure. This booklet includes details about heart failure, how it is diagnosed and treated, and lifestyle information for those seeking to be as healthy and active as possible while dealing with heart failure. The booklet also contains tracking sheets to record information that will be helpful for you and your healthcare provider, as well as a list of resources and services within Covenant Health.