Heart failure means the heart is weakened and is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. The effect on the body when heart is failing causes fluid to build up, creating congestion and other effects like fatigue.
Heart failure means the heart is:
- Unable to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs.
The effect on the body when heart is failed
- Not enough blood circulates.
- Fluid builds up, creating congestion.
Symptoms of Heart failure Think FACES
- Activities limited
- Chest congestion
- Edema or ankle swelling
- Shortness of breath
Ejection Fraction refers to the fraction of blood the heart pumps out with each beat.
- Healthy heart = 60% or more.
- Heart failure = 40% or less.
- Ejection fraction less than 20% means your survival is limited.
The candidates for heart transplant
- Patient already undergone other cardiac surgery like CABG or valve replacement and Still Symptomatic.
- Patient has weak heart like Dilated Cardiomayopathy or restrictive CMP and Low Ejection Fraction.
- Other surgeries can not give benefit like CABG or Valve replacement.
When to go for transplant
- Patients should receive maximal medical therapy before being considered for transplantation.
- Patient should also be considered for alternative surgical therapies including CABG, valve repair / replacement, cardiac septalplasty, etc.
- Transplant is the only option for greatest survival benefit.
- Other is LVAD (Left ventricular assist device) if heart is not available for transplant.
LVAD - Left ventricular assist device
The left ventricular assist device, LVAD helps the heart pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Heart is not replaced by LVAD as it is a mechanical device which pumps the blood and restores the normal blood flow to a person whose heart has been weakened.