What is Congestive Heart Failure?
Congestive Heart Failure
In thinking together about congestive heart failure, we want to know the four different classes that mark congestive heart failure, and then we’re going to talk about some of the causes of it and some of the symptoms in recognizing it. We begin, then, with Class I of congestive heart failure.
At this level, (normal physical activity, and symptoms) symptoms that go along with congestive heart failure produce no limitation in normal physical activity. We’ll say, Class I, they have congestive heart failure, but there’s no limitation in their normal physical activity. Class II. They start to recognize more marked symptoms during normal physical activity.
These symptoms would include fatigue, dyspnea, and other symptoms like that. Normal physical activity for Class I, there’s no limitations whatsoever from the congestive heart failure. Class II, normal physical activity results in fatigue or dyspnea. Class III is marked limitation in normal physical activity, the symptoms become so pronounced that even normal physical activity becomes almost impossible.
Then in Class IV, basically the symptoms of congestive heart failure are experienced with minimal activity and even at rest. This, of course, being the worst class; they’re not doing anything, or they’re doing very minimal activity—any activity whatsoever, even resting—they’re experiencing the effects of their congestive heart failure, very serious class here.
Class I congestive heart failure, doing normal activity they might experience some symptoms, but there’s no limitation in their normal activities. Class II, normal physical activities result in fatigue and dyspnea. Class III, strongly marked limitations in their ability to do normal physical activity because of the symptoms, and then Class IV, they even experience the symptoms when at rest, very serious.
Now when we think about causes of congestive heart failure, we need to think in terms of coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, endocarditis, extra cardiac infections, and pulmonary embolus—all of these can lead to congestive heart failure.
Some of the symptoms to recognize someone in congestive heart failure would be cold or cyanotic skin, wheezing, mitral valvular deficits, lower extremity edema, pulsus alternans, and hypertension, and tachypnea. All of these are symptoms to be noticed going along with congestive heart failure.
I want to go over those again just to make sure, if you were taking notes, you want to get these down. Remember the four classes of congestive heart failure. Class I, very low level, there are no limitations that they experience or feel in ordinary physical activity, though they might experience some of the symptoms—no limitations.
Class II, regular physical activity leads to fatigue or dyspnea. Class III, very marked limitations in their ability to do normal physical activities because of the symptoms experienced. In Class IV, they experience the symptoms when at rest, or with any activity whatsoever.
Causes, again, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, valvular heart disease, endocarditis, extra cardiac infection, and pulmonary embolus. Those are causes of congestive heart failure. Then finally, the symptoms indicative of this are cold or cyanotic skin, wheezing, mitral valvular deficits, lower extremity edema, pulsus alternans, hypertension, and tachypnea.