Congestive Heart Disease (Chf)

Topics: Heart, Hypertension, Myocardial infarction Pages: 7 (1888 words) Published: March 19, 2012
Congestive Heart Disease

The main function of a healthy heart is to ensure proper blood flow throughout the body and supplying all the organs with the nutrients that are necessary for survival. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is also known as Congestive heart disease, but for this paper we will use failure, Consistent with the research. Congestive heart failure is a disease that primarily causes the heart to be compromised. This leaves the heart unable to perform the main function of pumping blood throughout the body to maintain homeostasis. Congestive heart failure affects mostly individuals 65 years and older; however it can happen at any time. (Anderson, et al 2010). According to Goldberg & Konstam, “It is also one of the most common forms of heart disease. Approximately 4.9 million Americans suffer from CHF, with about 400,000 new cases diagnosed annually.” (as cited in Mithal, Mann, & Stone, 2002, p. 46). Prevention methods are important factors for avoiding this disease. There are several treatments available for congestive heart failure that focus on reducing fluids from the body to remove congestion from the heart or reduce blood pressure in the arteries. The heart can be described as muscular pump; it’s primary function is to pump blood. The heart consists of four chambers. The upper two chambers are called the atriums and the lower two chambers are called the ventricles. As the heart contracts, blood is pumped through the body with the assistance of four heart valves. Blood that is low in oxygen flows back to the heart after circulating through the body. The blood enters through veins and enters the right atrium. This chamber empties blood through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. The right ventricle continues to pump the blood under low pressure through the pulmonary valve into the pulmonary artery. The blood is now directed to the lungs where it gets fresh oxygen. After the blood is oxygenized, the blood will have a bright red appearance, and it is now considered rich with oxygen. The blood will now return to the left heart through the pulmonary veins to the left atrium. From there it passes through the mitral valve and enters the left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps the oxygenated blood out through the aortic valve into the aorta. The aorta takes blood to the body’s general circulation. Congestive heart failure is the inability of the heart to sufficiently supply the body with oxygenated rich blood adequately. The hearts primary function is to move blood throughout a network of vessels. The blood provides the cells of the body with oxygen and nutrients needed while also removing waste products of the body and releasing carbon dioxide. Organs such as the brain, liver, lungs, intestines and kidneys are also compromised. When the weakened muscles of the heart is unable to supply the kidneys with the necessary amount of blood the kidneys are compromised. The kidneys are now unable to perform their function of excreting sodium and water. This causes the body to retain fluid, which directly affects the lungs. The lungs now become congested with fluids known as pulmonary edema. The liver is similarly affected with the accumulation of fluids due to the inability to excrete wastes. This causes a huge accumulation of toxins in the body. The intestines will also be affected and will not be able to absorb the necessary nutrients for daily function. Without treatment CHF will eventually corrupt and attack every organ of the body. Common symptoms include swollen legs or ankles and difficulty breathing. Weight gain is often seen due to the accumulations of fluid within the body. (American Heart Association, 2010 ; Anderson, et al 2010). There are several factors that commonly contribute to congestive heart failure. Coronary heart disease is an accumulation of plaque resulting in a narrowing or hardening of the arteries that supplies blood to the heart muscle known as the myocardium. This is...
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