Stages Of Dying From Congestive Heart Failure
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It is estimated that there around 5 million Americans suffering from congestive heart failure and every year another half a million people are diagnosed. This condition occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient oxygen-rich blood to meet the demands of the body. It can occur due to various reasons, like elevated blood pressure, malformed valves of the heart, weakening or stiffening of the heart muscle or diseases that demand more oxygen than the heart can supply, like anemia or hyperthyroidism.
As the disease progresses, the symptoms of condition tend to worsen until the eventual death of the person. Some of the common symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath when doing minor physical activity, fatigue, weakness, edema of the ankles, feet and legs, arrhythmia, constant coughing and wheezing, edema of the abdomen, nausea, lack of appetite, and problems in concentration. These symptoms tend to worsen as the congestive heart failure worsens or becomes more acute.
There are mainly 4 stages of dying from CHF, or congestive heart failure. These stages are described below.
Stage 1: This is the first stage of the disease and many of the symptoms are not manifested. However, the person will notice some amount of fatigue that was previously not present when doing any physical activity. However, the fatigue does not ring any alarm bells and hence, most people do not seek any medical treatment. Invariably, they think that this is normal sign of aging.
Stage 2: In the second stage of dying, the tiredness becomes worse and the person may also suffer from palpitations of the heart while doing light exercises. However, the symptoms tend to disappear once the person rests for a while.
Stage 3: In the third stage of dying, the person may not experience any of the aforementioned symptoms while lying down, but will definitely suffer from breathing problems and extreme tiredness while doing day-to-day tasks at home. In this stage, the person is not able to do many things and this hampers the person's ability to live independently.
Stage 4: This is the last stage of dying from congestive heart failure. In this stage, the person ability to do day-to-day work is severely affected and even the most mundane tasks can lead to severe tiredness and increased heart rate. In this stage, the other organs are also affected. The kidneys are not able to flush out the salts and toxins via the urine, so urine output is decreased. The liver is unable to detoxify the body and hence, toxins tend to accumulate in the body. In addition, the pulmonary edema worsens that the person will find it difficult to breathe even when resting or lying down. Slowly, one by one the body functions begin to shut down and the person goes into coma. Once this happens, death occurs within a period of 1 to 2 hours.
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