Congestive Heart Failure

2477 words 10 pages
Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure, also known as "cardiac decompensation, cardiac insufficiency, and cardiac incompetence," (Basic Nursing 1111) is an imbalance in pump function in which the heart is failing and unable to do its work pumping enough blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs. To some people, heart failure is defined as a sudden and complete stoppage of heart activity—i.e. that the heart just stops beating. This is an inaccuracy. Heart failure usually develops slowly, often over years, as the heart gradually loses its pumping ability and works less efficiently. CHF is a syndrome that affects individuals in different ways and to different degrees. It is usually a chronic disease. It gradually
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For individuals with two or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease, LDL-cholesterol should be less than 130 mg/dL. Triglycerides should be less than 200 mg/dL. HDL-cholesterol should be greater than 40 mg/dL for men and more than 45 mg/dL for women" (Congestive Heart Failure 48).
 Smoking
Smoking is harmful to the entire cardiovascular system. It introduces carbon monoxide into the body; lowers the amount of "good" HDL-cholesterol in the bloodstream, and makes the blood clot more easily, increasing the potential for arterial blockage.
 Salt Intake
Salt helps conserve water in the body. The American Heart Association recommends that the average person consume no more than 2,400 mg. of salt per day. Excessive dietary salt may contribute to both hypertension and to the body retaining too much water. If a person is retaining too much water, then blood volume is being increased. The increase results in more pressure to the arteries
 Alcohol consumption
While evidence shows that there is a protective effect for moderate alcohol consumption, the benefit disappears with excessive intake. Men should not consume more than two drinks daily and women—because of their smaller body size—should not consume more than one drink per day.
 Obesity
Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Men who have greater than 25% of their body weight as fat and women who have more


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