Cardiac insufficiency or heart failure results from the inability of the heart to pump adequate blood via the body. This can occur in both young and old and might be an indication of a genetic disorder.
Cardiac insufficiency occurs as both an acute and long-lasting condition that makes it readily manageable in most cases.
Indications of cardiac insufficiency
Abrupt weight gain or swelling of the feet, hands and legs indicates cardiac insufficiency. Edema occurs due to inability to pump fluid all over the body and accumulates in the tissues.
As the heart works strenuously, it eventually weakens and more fluid builds up and edema worsens. The extremities appear distended with fluid that the skin starts to weep.
Shortness of breath
One of the indications of cardiac insufficiency is shortness of breath. This can occur even while at rest or during exertion. If an individual has cardiac insufficiency, the episodes increase over time until dependence on supplemental oxygen develops.
An individual with the condition could not participate in activities without bringing along an oxygen tank and usually loses energy quickly.
Once the heart tries to get rid of the additional fluid volume, it beats more rapidly. Rapid heart rate of more than 100 beats in a minute occurs. If fluid accumulates, erratic rhythm aside from the rapid heart rate also develops.
Weakness and fatigue
An individual with cardiac insufficiency gets tired easily. If it occurs right after waking, it is not normal. The body must feel rested after 8-10 hours of sleep. Cardiac insufficiency causes an individual to feel constant fatigue regardless of how much he/she has rested. The reason for this is that the heart could not fully provide the body with the oxygen that it needs.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on cardiac insufficiency is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to manage circulatory conditions including cardiac insufficiency, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are located in Victoria, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.