Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disorder which causes the heart muscles to inadequately pump blood to comply with the bodily requirements for blood and oxygen.
Types of heart failure
Left-sided heart failure
The pumping action of the heart moves oxygenated blood as it journeys from the lungs to the left atrium and then to the left ventricle which propels it to the entire body. It is important to note that the left ventricle delivers most of the pumping power of the heart, thus it is bigger than the other compartments and vital for normal functioning.
If an individual has left-sided heart failure, the left side of the heart must strain to pump the same amount of blood.
2 types of left-sided heart failure
- Systolic failure – the left ventricle loses its capability to normally contract. The heart could not propel with sufficient force to drive blood into circulation.
- Diastolic failure – the left ventricle is not capable of relaxing normally. The heart could not be filled with blood during the rest phase between every beat.
Right-sided heart failure
Left-sided failure is responsible for causing this. Once the left ventricle ceases to work, augmented fluid pressure is transported back via the lungs, thus damaging the right side of the heart.
Once the right side loses its pumping power, blood backs up in the veins of the body. This results to swelling or congestion in the ankles, legs as well as swelling inside the abdomen and liver.
Congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure is a form of heart failure that requires immediate medical care. As the blood flowing from the heart slackens, blood moving back to the heart via the veins moves up which results to overcrowding in the bodily tissues. In most cases, the swelling occurs in the ankles and legs but can also occur in other body parts.
Oftentimes, the fluid accumulates in the lungs and disrupts with breathing, resulting to shortness of breath especially if the individual is lying down. It can also affect the ability of the kidneys to eliminate water and sodium. The retention of water also intensifies the swelling in the bodily tissues.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on types of heart failure is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about circulatory issues including heart failure, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey, Winnipeg, Toronto, Victoria, Ottawa and Halifax.