Tuesday, 20 September 2022

What is Heart Failure

Featured image for What is Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure

Heart failure means that the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly. It usually occurs because the heart has become too weak or stiff.

Heart failure does not mean your heart has stopped working. It just needs some support to help it work better.

It can occur at any age, but is most common in older people.

Heart failure is a long-term condition which cannot usually be cured, but the symptoms can often be controlled for many years.

Heart failure Thumbnail

Heart failure

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

What is heart failure Thumbnail

What is heart failure

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos

More about heart failure

Causes of heart failure

There are lots of reasons why you may have heart failure. It can be sudden or it can happen slowly over months or years.

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Symptoms

Being aware of the symptoms and stages of heart failure can help you get the best treatment and advice.

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Diagnosis and stages

If you have symptoms of heart failure, your GP should offer you some checks and a blood test to see how well your heart is working.

View more

Treatments (medications, procedures and self-care)

Information on treatments available and ways of managing the condition

View more

What support is available?

In this section you will find both local and global support connections to help you manage and understand your condition; whether they be for physical or emotional wellbeing.

View more

What support is available?

In this section you will find both local and global support connections to help you manage and understand your condition; for both physical or emotional wellbeing.

View more

Links (these will open in a new window)

Pumping Marvellous logo

Pumping Marvellous

We are the Pumping Marvellous Foundation, the UK’s heart failure patient-led charity.

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Aintree Heart Failure Passport app logo

Aintree Heart Failure Passport app

Educational app, used to provide guidance to patients on Heart Failure (HF). Available on the Play Store.

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British Heart Foundation logo

British Heart Foundation

For further information on coronavirus and how it can affect people with heart conditions please consult the British Heart Foundation website.

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Health and Care Video Library

We provide clinicians, patients, their families and carers with easily understandable information in an easily accessible way.

Health and Care Video Library banner

ORCHA mobile apps

ORCHA is a health app evaluation and advisor organisation. It can help you find mobile apps to assist you in learning more about heart failure. Tap on the image below to go the the app directory

ORCHA mobile apps banner
Featured image for Causes of heart failure

Causes of heart failure

There are lots of reasons why you may have heart failure. It can be sudden or it can happen slowly over months or years.

The most common causes of heart failure are:

  • a heart attack– which can cause long-term damage to your heart, affecting how well the heart can pump.
  • high blood pressure - putting strain on the heart, which over time can lead to heart failure.
  • cardiomyopathy - a disease of the heart muscle. There are different types which can either be inherited or caused by other things, such as viral infections or pregnancy.

Heart failure can also be caused by:

Heart Failure Causes Thumbnail

Heart Failure Causes

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)



Content provided by NHS.uk

Find information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.



Published on Thu, 03 Jun 2021 12:11:29 GMT
Modified on Wed, 06 Jul 2022 15:02:23 GMT

Featured image for Symptoms

Symptoms

Being aware of the symptoms and stages of heart failure can help you get the best treatment and advice.

The most common symptoms of heart failure are:

  • Breathlessness – this may occur after activity or at rest; it may be worse when you're lying down, and you may wake up at night needing to catch your breath
  • Fatigue – you may feel tired most of the time and find exercise exhausting
  • Swollen ankles and legs – this is caused by a build-up of fluid (oedema); it may be better in the morning and get worse later in the day

Less common symptoms

Other symptoms of heart failure can include:

Some people with heart failure may also experience feelings of depression and anxiety.

Videos

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Heart Failure Symptoms

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) .



Content provided by NHS.uk

Find information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.



Published on Thu, 03 Jun 2021 12:16:24 GMT
Modified on Wed, 06 Jul 2022 15:01:37 GMT

Featured image for Diagnosis and stages

Diagnosis and stages

If you have symptoms of heart failure, your GP should offer you some checks and a blood test to see how well your heart is working.

If your blood test shows you might have heart failure, your GP should consider referring you to a specialist heart failure team and you may be offered further tests.

Tests for heart failure

Tests you may have to diagnose heart failure include:

  • blood tests (NT-proBNP) – to check whether there's anything in your blood that might indicate heart failure or another illness
  • an electrocardiogram (ECG) – this records the electrical activity of your heart to check for problems
  • an echocardiogram – a type of ultrasound scan where sound waves are used to examine your heart
  • breathing tests – you may be asked to blow into a tube to check whether a lung problem is contributing to your breathlessness; common tests include spirometry and a peak flow test
  • a chest X-ray – to check whether your heart's bigger than it should be, whether there's fluid in your lungs (a sign of heart failure), or whether a lung condition could be causing your symptoms

You can read more about tests for heart conditions on the British Heart Foundation website.

Stages of heart failure

When you're diagnosed with heart failure, your doctor will usually be able to tell you what stage it is.

The stage describes how severe your heart failure is.

It's usually given as a class from 1 to 4, with 1 being the least severe and 4 being the most severe:

  • class 1 – you don't have any symptoms during normal physical activity
  • class 2 – you're comfortable at rest, but normal physical activity triggers symptoms
  • class 3 – you're comfortable at rest, but minor physical activity triggers symptoms
  • class 4 – you're unable to carry out any physical activity without discomfort and may have symptoms even when resting

Knowing the stage of your heart failure will help your doctors decide which treatments they think are best for you.

Useful videos

Heart failure Thumbnail

Heart failure

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Heart failure tests Thumbnail

Heart Failure Tests

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Getting ready for tests in hospital

Getting ready for tests in hospital

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos



Content provided by NHS.uk

Find information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.



Published on Fri, 04 Jun 2021 10:16:09 GMT
Modified on Wed, 06 Jul 2022 11:21:24 GMT

Featured image for Treatments (medications, procedures and self-care)

Treatments (medications, procedures and self-care)

Information on treatments available and ways of managing the condition

Choose from the medications below to find out more details:

Beta-Blockers

Beta-Blockers are drugs that help your heart beat slower and stronger

NameDose (Milligrams)
Bisoprolol1.25, 2.5, 3.75, 5, 7.5, 10
Carvediolol
Taken AM & PM
3.125, 6.25, 12.5, 25
Metoprolol
Taken AM & PM
25, 50, 75, 100
Mineralocorticoid Antagonists

Mineralocorticoid antagonists are a "type of water tablets," that counteract the adverse compensatory mechanisms, from worsening your heart failure.

NameDose (Milligrams)
Spironolactone12.5, 25, 50
Eplerenone12.5, 25, 50
SGLT2 inhibitors
NameDose (Milligrams)
Dapagliflozin10
Empagliflozin10
ACE Inhibitors

ACE Inhibitors relax blood vessels, thereby lowering your blood pressure and help the heart pump more effectively.

NameDose (Milligrams)
Ramipril1.25, 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10
Enalapril32.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40
Lisinopril5, 10, 15, 20
Perindopril2, 4, 8
Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB)

Angiotensin Receptor Blockers are alternatives to ACE inhibitors in patients who have side effects to ACE inhibitors.

NameDose (Milligrams)
Candesartan4, 8, 12, 16
Valsartan340, 80, 120, 160, 320
Losartan25, 50, 75, 100
Diuretics (Water tablets)

Diuretics prevent fluid from building up in the body and lungs by getting rid of extra fluid and sodium in the urine. These medications make you pass urine frequently.

NameDose (Milligrams)
Frusemide40, 80, 120, 160
Bumetanide1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Bendroflumethiazide2.5, 5
Anti-platelets
NameDose (Milligrams)
Aspirin75
Clopidogrel75
Ticagreolor90
Anticoagulants (Blood thinners)
NameDose (Milligrams)
WarfarinAs per INR
Apixaban
Taken AM & PM
2.5, 5
Edoxaban60
Rivaroxaban15, 20
Dabigatran60, 90
Anti-Hypertensives (blood pressure tablets)
NameDose (Milligrams)
Amlodipine5, 10
Felodipine5
Doxazosin1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16
Others
NameDose (Milligrams)
Hydralazine
Taken morning, afternoon and evening
25, 50
Isosorbide Mononitrate
Taken once a day
30, 60, 90, 120
Isosorbide Mononitrate
Taken twice a day
10, 20, 30, 60

Can I improve my heart failure naturally?

If your doctor prescribes you medication it’s important to take it. But making changes to your lifestyle is also going to have a big impact on improving your health.

Changes may include:

  • weighing yourself regularly and entering your weight into the Aintree Heart Failure Passport – sudden weight gain may mean too much fluid is building up in your body
  • watching the amount of fluid you have each day 
  • managing stress and mood monitoring in the Aintree Heart Failure Passport app
  • controlling your blood pressure 
  • stopping smoking
  • limiting how much alcohol you drink or stopping altogether safely if advised to do so by your clinician
  • keeping active (and taking part in rehabilitation if advised to do so) – this can help improve your energy, stamina and fitness
  • keeping to a healthy weight, which will help to prevent your heart from working too hard.

Diet changes are also essential when managing your weight and keeping your heart healthy.

You could feel healthier by eating:

  • one or two portions of fruit or veg with every meal
  • sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts and avocados instead of saturated fat options like crisps and butter
  • one or two portions of beans or pulses everyday with a meal
  • your protein in the form of fish, eggs and lean meats
  • less salt and sugar.
How to manage your heart failure at home Thumbnail

How to manage your heart failure at home

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Living healthy with heart failure Thumbnail

Living healthy with heart failure

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos

Useful videos:

Heart failure medication Thumbnail

Medication

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Heart failure other treatments Thumbnail

Other treatments

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

Heart failure self-care Thumbnail

Self-care

Video designed by Dr Sankaranarayanan (Consultant Cardiologist) for the Aintree Heart Failure Passport Mobile APP (Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

What is heart failure Thumbnail

What is heart failure?

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos

Healthy living Thumbnail

Healthy living

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos

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Managing heart failure at home

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos


ORCHA mobile apps

ORCHA is a health app evaluation and advisor organisation. It can help you find mobile apps to assist you in measuring your cardiovascular health, and to learn more information about Heart Failure. Tap on the image below to go the the app directory.



Content provided by One Liverpool, a partnership of local health and care organisations working together to support a healthier, happier and fairer Liverpool for all.

Published on Thu, 03 Jun 2021 12:34:36 GMT
Modified on Thu, 03 Feb 2022 12:54:19 GMT

Featured image for What support is available?

What support is available?

In this section you will find both local and global support connections to help you manage and understand your condition; for both physical or emotional wellbeing.

Local support

Citizens Advice logo

Citizens Advice Bureau Referrals

Advice services available through Citizen Advice Bureau digital and telephone channels.

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Talk Liverpool logo

Talk Liverpool

It is common for your psychological wellbeing to be impacted by Heart Failure. Many people find additional support managing their wellbeing helps them keep well for longer.

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Mersey Care NHS Trust logo

Telehealth

Health Technology (or Telehealth) is a way of using technology to monitor your own health, with the support of health professionals.

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National support

British Heart Foundation logo

British Heart Foundation

List of support groups from the British Heart Foundation

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Heart Failure Matters logo

Heart Failure Matters

Practical infromation for patients, families and caregivers.

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NHS logo

NHS

Advice from the NHS on living with Heart Failure

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Cardiomyopathy UK logo

Cardiomyopathy UK

List of useful organisations from Cardiomyopathy UK

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Healthtalk.org logo

Healthtalk.org

Personal experiences of people using support groups and how they have helped

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Pumping Marvellous logo

Pumping Marvellous

Link to the Pumping Marvellous Heart Failure Charity Website.

View more

Useful videos

Tap on the videos below to learn more about Heart Failure. You can find more videos about heart problems in the Health and Care Videos Library

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What is heart failure video thumbnail

What is heart failure?

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos

Living healthy with heart failure video thumbnail

Living healthy with heart failure

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos

How to manage your heart failure at home video thumbnail

How to manage your heart failure at home

From the Health and Care Video Library, the UK's largest collection of health and care videos



Content provided by NHS.uk

Find information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.



Published on Thu, 03 Jun 2021 12:29:47 GMT
Modified on Wed, 06 Jul 2022 15:00:49 GMT



Dr Sankaranarayanan from Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust



Published on Wed, 11 Aug 2021 12:42:37 GMT
Modified on Tue, 20 Sep 2022 10:23:43 GMT