Heart failure is most often a long-term chronic condition. The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease, a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Heart failure is present when your heart muscle is no longer able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood out to the rest of your body. As the heart pumping becomes less effective, blood may back up in other areas of the body. Fluid may build up in the lungs, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and the arms and legs.
If you have heart failure, your doctor will monitor you closely. You will have follow-up appointments at least every 3 to 6 months, as well as, tests to check your heart function. Knowing your body and the symptoms that your heart failure is getting worse will help you stay healthier and out of the hospital.
Call your health care provider if you develop: