Congestive Heart Failure Treatment
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Congestive heart failure, also known as CHF, occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient amounts of blood to the various parts of the body. When this happens, other organs of the body are also affected. Also, a person suffering from CHF will have edema in different parts of the body, especially the ankles, feet and legs, which occurs due to the blood backing up in the tissues. Also, the person will suffer from pulmonary edema due to the same reason.
When it comes to congestive heart failure treatment, doctors aim to treat the symptoms of the condition rather than the CHF itself. The aim of the treatment is also to reduce the progress of the disease. So, the treatment ensures that the normal levels of the fluid are maintained in the blood to alleviate the edema in the lungs and other parts of the body. Here the doctor will use diuretics, vasodilators and positive inotropes to ensure that excess fluid is eliminated from the body. If the person is suffering from fluid accumulation in the lungs, he or she would have to be hospitalized and given oxygen. Depending on how severe the CHF is, the doctor may also place a bi-ventricular pacemaker in the body or re-model the heart surgically. It has been seen that these CHF treatment methods help to improve the quality of the person's life and alleviate the symptoms, but they do not have any effect on the person's rate of survival.
In a recent clinical trial, a new treatment method known as cardiac re-synchronization therapy, which involves pacing of the right and left ventricles, has shown that people have an improved rate of survivability. This method of treatment was used only for people suffering NYHA Class 3 or 4 type of CHF.
The progress of the disease is controlled by using ACE inhibitors, Beta-blockers and aldosterone inhibitors. It has been seen that these medications help to increase the rate of survival among people suffering from CHF. Also, in case the congestive heart failure is caused due to an infection, then the person is given antibiotics. Alternatively, if the condition is a result of faulty valves, the condition can be rectified with a surgery and placing artificial valves instead. So, the medical problem causing the CHF is addressed to improve a person's condition and stop the disease from progressing further.
Usually, a doctor will use a combination of drugs and oxygen therapy as congestive heart failure treatment. In addition, the person will be advised to have rest and then alternate it with light exercise like walking. This is advised for long term care of CHF.
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