Section 1 : About this Course
Section 2 : A respiratory Appointment
Section 3 : An appointment for Ear, Nose, and Throat
Section 4 : It may be nothing but lets check that chest pain out
Section 5 : A typical day at work
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Heart Failure

Definition of Heart Failure
“a clinical syndrome resulting from any structural or functional cardiac disorder which impairs the ability of the ventricle to fill or eject blood”

• Around 550,000 people in England have been diagnosed with heart failure by their GP.
• In England around 80 per cent of heart failure diagnoses are made in hospital.
• People with heart failure are 2-3 times more likely to have a stroke.

Why is it important to know about heart failure?

Although Heart Failure is a chronic condition, it can complicate and worsen minor illness and therefore affect management.

A patient may present with symptoms who has not got a diagnosis of heart failure – the above statistics show that few people are diagnosed in practice. This means that people are usually diagnosed in hospital when the disease has progressed.

A minor illness consultation may be an opportunity for you to get a diagnosis in primary care at an earlier stage, making the prognosis better for the patient.

If you suspect heart failure the patient will need referring to your GP or hospital.

Symptoms to alert you that this may be heart failure

  • Shortness of breath when active or at rest.
  • Swollen feet, ankles, stomach and around the lower back area.
  • Feeling unusually tired or weak.
  • Palpitations – this is caused by ‘arrhythmias’ because the electrical messages which control the heart’s rhythm are disrupted.
  • Dizziness or fainting – caused by reduced oxygen levels or blood flow to the brain, this can cause
    light-headedness or dizziness and, in some cases, loss of consciousness or fainting.
  • Persistent cough – caused by oedema in the lungs, this can make it harder to breathe and
    cause a cough.
  • Weight loss or gain – heart failure causes fluid retention which may cause a sharp increase in weight.