One of the more common forms of heart disease happens when the left ventricle starts losing its ability to pump blood. For many people it may progress to a point when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to sustain the body during various activities. This is called heart failiure.
In stage two, people lose energy and tire more quickly. By early stage four, walking 100 feet becomes difficult, and by late stage four, impossible. A patient is restricted to bed rest and, if therapies prove ineffective, vital organs don’t receive enough blood flow and death follows.
Symptoms of Heart Failure
It is important to understand how a sick heart makes the whole body sick. Heart failure starves the vital organs of the blood and oxygen needed to function properly. The symptoms of heart failure can often be mistaken for other ailments.
Stages of Heart Failure
Heart failure is chronic and progressive. Based on symptoms and quality of life, the progression of heart failure is divided into four classes by the New York Heart Association.
New York Heart Association
Advanced Heart Failure
For patients who progress to advanced heart failure, medications and surgery may no longer be adequate. These patients may benefit from a mechanical circulatory support device, such as a ventricular assist device (VAD).