acute decompensated heart failure

Acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) refers to the sudden worsening of heart failure symptoms, leading to a state of inadequate blood circulation and increased stress on the heart. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood effectively, causing fluid buildup in the lungs and other tissues. ADHF is a medical emergency that requires prompt attention and treatment.

The acute decompensation of heart failure can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Exacerbation of Chronic Heart Failure: Flare-up of symptoms in individuals with pre-existing heart failure.
  • Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack): Damage to the heart muscle can worsen heart failure.
  • Severe Infections: Infections can strain the cardiovascular system, leading to decompensation.
  • Uncontrolled Hypertension: Elevated blood pressure can exacerbate heart failure.
  • Arrhythmias: Irregular heart rhythms may contribute to worsening heart failure symptoms.
  • Non-Adherence to Medications or Dietary Restrictions: Failure to follow prescribed treatment plans.

ADHF is characterized by a sudden onset or worsening of heart failure symptoms, which may include:

  • Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea): Especially during physical activity or while lying down.
  • Persistent Coughing: Often with frothy or pink-tinged sputum.
  • Fatigue and Weakness: Generalized lack of energy.
  • Fluid Retention: Edema, particularly in the legs and ankles.
  • Rapid Heart Rate (Tachycardia): Elevated heart rate in response to the increased demand on the heart.
  • Chest Discomfort: Chest pain or tightness.

If you suspect acute decompensated heart failure, seek immediate medical attention for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.