John C. Lincoln Hospitals are the first in Arizona to earn fully accreditation as heart failure centers
, signaling that our hospitals meet or exceed national standards of care for congestive heart failure patients.
What is heart failure? In a very basic sense, heart failure occurs when a heart is too damaged or weak to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs for the oxygen and nutrients found in the bloodstream.
Heart failure is considered to be a chronic, long-term condition that cannot be cured. However, it can be managed — through a doctor-prescribed combination of lifestyle changes, heart medications and surgical treatment.
Whether you have been diagnosed with heart failure, or if you're searching for heart failure information on behalf of a loved one, John C. Lincoln Health Network would like you to learn more about the risks and symptoms of heart failure.
We have designed these pages to explain how heart failure develops, how it is diagnosed and how John C. Lincoln's heart specialists help patients manage the disease.
This section includes:
- Causes of Heart Failure: A variety of conditions, including coronary artery disease, can lead to the development of heart failure.
- Heart Failure Symptoms: Cough, pulmonary crackles, reduced urine output, fatigue and other symptoms are keys to detecting heart failure early.
- Heart Failure Tests: Examinations that John C. Lincoln uses to test for heart failure include blood tests, an echocardiogram and chest X-rays.
- Heart Failure Diagnosis: A clinical assessment of the patient is a fundamental part in helping health care providers arrive at a heart failure diagnosis.
- Heart Failure Treatment: Therapies for heart failure span the categories of medication, medical devices, surgery and lifestyle management.
- Living with Heart Failure: Carefully following a prescribed treatment regimen is the most important key to managing heart failure on a long-term basis.
Heart Failure Types
Request a referral to a John C. Lincoln heart failure specialist
As you read this section, it is helpful to keep in mind that there are several categories of heart failure. Generally speaking, these depend on the area of the heart that has been damaged or weakened.
Systolic heart failure: The inability of the heart to contract enough to pump blood forward — out of the heart and into the body.
Diastolic heart failure: The inability of the left ventricle to relax normally. Because it is stiffened, it fills with less blood than normal.
Left-sided heart failure: The inability of the left ventricle to pump enough blood to the body. As the heart pumps, the left atrium receives blood from the lungs and passes blood to the left ventricle. When the left ventricle becomes weak, blood and other fluids back up into the lungs.
Right-sided heart failure: Together, the right atrium (which receives blood from the body) and right ventricle (which pumps blood to the lung) fail to pump efficiently, leading to congestion or fluid buildup in the abdomen, legs and feet.
Acute heart failure: The condition ensues rapidly, in an emergency fashion. Suddenly, the patient loses the ability to compensate for the heart's deficiencies. While the typical acute heart failure patient may not exhibit symptoms prior to the onset of heart failure, he or she will exhibit symptoms following injury to the heart, often caused by myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Chronic heart failure: Most likely the result of a pre-existing cardiac condition, this is a long-term syndrome in which the patient experiences persistent symptoms over a prolonged period of time.