left sided heart failure

Congestive Heart Failure: Left Versus Right.

So what is congestive heart failure (also known as CHF)? CHF is when the heart isn’t able to pump blood to the body correctly, and as such various clinical signs occurs. In doggies, this frequently happen to degenerative valve disease, Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), or other heart diseases. A post further explaining these can be found here.

Now heart failure can manifest as left-sided (from diseases on the left side of the heart), or right-sided (from disease on the right side of the heart). Knowing what clinical signs are associated with which one is related to blood flow. To review, the veins of the body flow into the RIGHT ATRIUM -> RIGHT VENTRICLE-> LUNGS (via pulmonary artery) -> LEFT ATRIUM (via pulmonary vein) -> LEFT VENTRICLE -> BODY (via aorta).

In Right-sided failure, there is blood back-flow (the “congestive” part of CHF), from the RIGHT side of the heart to the BODY. This causes fluid to accumulate in the abdomen, called ascites. This can also lead to fluid building up in the limbs called edema

In left-sided heart failure, there is blood back-flow (the “congestive” part of CHF), from the LEFT side of the heart to the LUNGS.  This causes fluid to accumulate in the lungs, called pulmonary edema. This leads to coughing and difficulty breathing!

TIP: Left-side CHF is most common!!! Therefore one of the most common clinical signs of CHF is coughing and respiratory distress! Having trouble breathing is not always a primary lung disease, but can be secondary to heart failure!

TIP: CHF, once established, can always be a problem and acute clinical signs can reoccur. However, it is possible that CHF can be well managed for some time with proper treatment.


This should help most medic students.
Above: how Right Side & Left Side heart failure presents.
Middle: most of the drugs you will see when it comes time for your Nat-Reg Practicals. Know the trade & generic names, routes & Doses.
Bottom: mnemonics for your anti-arrhythmic drugs.

Go forth & save lives!

knz-sweetpea  asked:

How does congestive HEART failure affect the LUNGS?

The heart pumps blood around the body. When it becomes inefficient, like in mitral valve disease, while some blood is still pumped forward, some also flows backwards. This backwards flow, often causing turbulence which is heard as a murmur, means there is higher blood pressure before the dodgy valve than there should be.

There’s only so much blood volume a patient’s organs can handle. If this is a chronic problem then the liquid of the blood will spread into surrounding tissue. If it’s right sided heart failure then that fluid usually ends up causing a swollen liver and ascites. In left sided heart failure, like the picture, that fluid ends up accumulating in the lungs.

Because the lungs are like a sponge and coated with surfactant, the fluid and air mix and are often coughed up as foamy bubbles, with blood staining as it gets worse.

You can accidentally accomplish the same thing by giving a patient too much intravenous fluid therapy too quickly.

When the patient is not breathing quickly (i.e dead) then the fluid isn’t mixed with air, doesn’t foam and just pours out.

While heart patient can just drop dead, usually they’re drowning.

Endangered (16/25)

Updating these chapter links is starting to become a chore. Also there’s pesterlogs in this one.

Part 16 of a Dirk/AR AU fic where androids are wiping out the human race one at a time. Warning for emotional manipulation, etc.


Chapters: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/20/21/22/23/24/25

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