Congestive heart failure is one of the leading causes of mortality for elderly patients in the U.S., with an absolute mortality rate of over 50% in the 5 years after diagnosis. This complex syndrome results from cardiac disorders that are either structural or functional and reduces the ability of the heart to eject blood or fill completely with blood. Some signs of heart failure include heart palpitations, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath. Be watchful for these four stages of congestive heart failure in your loved ones.
Stage A: Pre-Heart Failure
During this stage, individuals are often able to manage their symptoms through a variety of self-help treatments such as quitting smoking and any illegal drug activity, treating high blood pressure and lipid disorders. Doctors may prescribe a beta blocker for previous heart attack patients.
Stage B: Systolic Left Ventricular Dysfunction
Individuals in Stage B heart failure are individuals who have had a prior heart attack, valve disease or cardiomyopathy. Patients should follow all of the recommendations for Stage A pre-heart failure, but surgeons may consider options for valve repair or replacement at this time.
Stage C: Known Systolic Heart Failure or Symptoms
Symptoms of Stage C heart failure include fatigue, shortness of breath and a reduced ability to exercise. While treatments remain the same, physicians will more aggressively treat this stage of heart failure due to the increased dangers that it presents. Diuretics and digoxin may be prescribed, as well as beta-blockers and even aldosterone inhibitors. Patients should severely limit their salt intact and monitor weight frequently.
Stage D: Systolic Heart Failure
Individuals in Stage D of congestive heart failure continue to see their symptoms advance, even with advanced medical care and regular treatments. At this stage, physicians are likely to explore enhanced surgical options, continuous intravenous inotropic drugs and hospice care to provide the level of daily support that these patients require.
While there may be ways to prevent congestive heart failure from progressing, past a certain stage it often requires daily care. The qualified professionals at Santé are familiar with the various stages of congestive heart failure and how to provide superior treatment and a high level of comfort to guests. Get more information about providing your loved one with the healthcare services that they need at Santé by calling 480-563-2402.