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When the heart is functioning correctly, its lower chambers (ventricles) pump in unison with its upper chambers (atria). Heart failure — also called congestive heart failure — can develop when the upper and lower chambers are out of sync. This prevents the heart from pumping enough blood to the brain, organs and throughout the body.
A failing heart keeps working, but not as efficiently as it should. People with heart failure can’t overexert themselves because they become short of breath and tired. The heart muscle becomes weakened and must work harder to keep blood flowing through the body.
The specialized clinicians of WakeMed’s Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Program partner with our patients’ primary care physicians and cardiologists. Launched in 1999, our comprehensive program educates patients about heart failure, helps them manage this chronic condition and relieve symptoms, and provides emotional support.
Patients with advanced disease may be cared for by the heart-failure experts of WakeMed Heart & Vascular Physicians – Advanced Heart Failure, a Heart Care Plus+ collaboration between WakeMed and Duke Health.
Heart failure usually develops slowly, following an injury to the heart, and can be caused by a number of factors. These include::
Symptoms of heart failure may include:
If you experience these symptoms, you should contact your doctor.
A variety of tests and studies can be used to evaluate and diagnose heart failure and look at overall cardiovascular health. These may include:
Heart failure treatments depend on the type and severity of the condition. They include:
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, there are many things you can do to help yourself feel well, reduce your symptoms, stay out of the hospital, lead a normal life and live longer and better. Recommendations include:
If you or someone you care for is experiencing heart failure symptoms, we encourage you to make an appointment with one of WakeMed’s experienced cardiologists.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610