Almost six million Americans are affected by heart failure every year, and in addition to that, it is the leading cause of hospitalization in people who are over the age of 65 [http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide-heart-failure]. This serious issue is one that is very familiar to many people. However, the facts of what heart congestion is, how it happens, and why medical malpractice needs to be a concern, is necessary to understand.
What is Heart Congestion?
Heart congestion does not mean that the heart has stopped working. Instead, it means that the heart’s ability to pump blood is less than it should be. Because of this, the blood moves through the body more slowly, and oxygen cannot be circulated the way that it should be. When this occurs, the heart may react by stretching to hold more blood (leading to a condition known as an enlarged heart), or simply by slowing down. When the heart slows down, other organs become less efficient at their jobs. This is something that leads to fluid building up in the body, and when this occurs, congestive heart failure is the term that is used to describe it.
Acute or Chronic
WebMD states that congestive heart failure can be acute or chronic. When the congestion occurs suddenly and worsens very quickly due to an extraneous source, that is described as being acute. It happens once, and once the extraneous source is dealt with, it subsides. On the other hand, chronic congestive heart failure occurs when the damage take place over an extended period and is due to factors like cholesterol or a particular frailty of the heart itself.
Watching for Signs of Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is often called a silent killer, especially when it is a chronic condition. The onset may be sudden, and the signs leading up to it can be subtle. For example, some symptoms of a chronic heart condition include fluid retention in various limbs, fatigue, a loss of breath and a reduced appetite. Some people show all of these signs, and other people only show a few. Some of these conditions are shared with issues like lung infections, and therefore, a careful medical examination may be needed to ascertain the cause.
Medical Malpractice and Congestive Heart Failure
When a doctor is examining a patient, the common nature of congestive heart failure is something that they must take into account. It may be a part of a patient’s medical history, or it may end up being something that is possible due to a lifestyle choice. For example, WebMD states that smoking raises the chance of heart disease [http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/quit-smoking-heart]. This is something that a doctor should take into account when they are performing routine checkups and when they are treating patients for other issues.
If heart disease is a possibility, a doctor must take steps to figure out if it is present. Blood tests, X-rays, stress tests and echocardiograms are a necessary part of heart disease diagnosis, and when a doctor fails to prescribe these tests, they are remiss in their duties. Doctors who fail to care adequately for their patients in this way risk having those patients continue patterns that are harmful to their health, damage their bodies, and in a worst case scenario, die due to this negligence.
Understanding Congestive heart failure is an important thing when it comes to maintaining health and choosing quality health care professionals. Everyone deserves proper care, and through further education on health topics, they can make sure that they get it.