The Stages of Dying From Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure refers to a condition that renders the heart unable to efficiently pump blood to the body’s organs. The condition itself can be caused by a number of pre-existing issues. These include:

• High blood pressure
• Previous heart attack
• Coronary disease of the arteries
• Congenital heart defects
• Diseased or damaged heart valves

Congestive heart failure can typically be identified by swollen legs or ankles, swelling of the abdomen or shortness of breath. Due to the heart’s inability to pump blood properly the blood tends to pool in certain areas of the body which leads to swelling. While it generally occurs in the legs, other parts of the body can be affected. The shortness of breath comes about when fluid collects in the lungs, which tends to worsen when the person is lying down.

Methods for the treatment of congestive failure have improved over the years, but in many cases, without a heart transplant the patient eventually dies. Depending on the severity of the condition some patients respond to drugs or operations such as valve replacement. With proper medical supervision some people can live with congestive heart failure for years. For some people however, the disease becomes progressively worse which leads to changes in the course of treatment and more intense medical supervision. However, death results rather quickly.

heart surgery The Stages of Dying From Congestive Heart Failure

Stages of Congestive Heart Failure

Typically, the stages of congestive heart failure are as follows:

1. Initially, patients may display no symptoms of the disease. While they may feel a bit more tired than usual during physical activity, it is not usually enough to cause alarm.
2. Over time there is pronounced fatigue during physical activity. Heart palpitations may be experenced even during limited exercise. On the other hand, resting may cause the symptoms to lessen or to go away.
3. At this stage the person may be fine while rest, but some everyday tasks may lead to tiredness and shortness of breath. Clearly, at this point physical activity and exercise become severely limited.
4. During the final stages of the illness the person’s day to day life becomes severely affected. Any form of physical activity will lead to tiredness and put additional strain on the heart. Even when at rest there may be symptoms which signal the heart’s inability to function properly, in addition to difficulty breathing.

According to website roughly 1.76% of Americans are suffering from congestive heart failure. Naturally the figures are higher for people over 65. While some people may be more prone to heart failure due to circumstances like defects at birth, lifestyle changes can make a big difference in preventing the disease. However, end stage congestive heart failure ultimately leads t death as the body shuts down.

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99 Responses to “The Stages of Dying From Congestive Heart Failure”

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  1. 99
    monika Says:

    Im so angry about having this condition,,I really want to say so much more but,I can’t find anything positive to add so I will hope for better days and to all of you that are facing this, Bless You, may your lives be lived to the fullest and peace be yours,,,,

  2. 98
    Roma Says:

    Hi to everyone with similar troubles.
    My partner has had diabetese 21yrs and end stage heart failure for 7yrs. 15 months ago he was diagnosed with kidney cancer which of course is inoperable because he cant survive anaesthesia. He was a strong man doing hard physical work all his life. Weve had lots of scares and he’s rallied but now he seems to be shutting down. He is weak’ słów and wobbly. He has constant nausea and vomiting and a lot of stomach pain. The nerves in his legs are dying causing very sharp pain. His whole body is covered in large sores which dont stop itching. He is depressed and feels desperately guilty he “has burdened” me with his pain. I feel guilty that at times I want it all to be over because I am just so mentally and physically exhausted and now being treated for depression and panic that I can go coping in a good positive way. I feel so helpless in the face of this cruel słów death this lovely man is enduring.
    I shall keep all of you iny prayers.

  3. 97
    wanda Says:

    my 86 year old mother had vericoius veins ,tired,falling a lot, and living alone..walked on a walker..for the last year, my husband did most of her cooking and cleaning, although she still did some including all of her own laundry..In november my sister and i took her shopping and she could not make it through the second isle. we did not take her again without the wheel chair. the first week in january, 2012 she fell again and the paramedics said she should no longer try to live alone.she went home with my sister that night and to my house the next day to move in…she needed help to the toilet and get bathed and dressed,etc….after about 10 days she started vomiting a lot for no apparent reason..we became worried about dehydration so took her to er…they immediately started oxygen and drip…put her oxygen on a couple of days, they put in a pacemaker. almost instant her thinking was back right, her vericoius veins seemed to disappear and he kept her on oxygen…a few days later placed her in a convalecent home…two weeks later she started swelling again and had a real hard time breathing..she was in the home struggling to breathe, get up, wipe herself, roll over, place her pillow or just about anything for 54 days, when she gave up…april 1…she had her right mind to the end..she was in pain in her stomach and struggled so hard to breath, it was almost a relief to see that stop..i miss her so very much…she would have been 87 on the 20th of april…we were blessed to have her this long

  4. 96
    Martha Says:

    Am from kenya…my mum was diagnosed with heart failure 7 yrs ago only last month suffered frn stroke..her cardiologist said she cant nt go a surgery becoz of her condition,she has bn in a semi comma since then and she is very weak, the doc said there is no much hope which has left us as a family devastated..pls people pray with us en God wil do miracle to all those pple suffering frm CHF… GOD BLEss

  5. 95
    vasculitis symptoms Says:

    Andrew, don’t you know what a vaccine is? It’s a lesser form of the virus itself! Your body is given a taste of what to expect so that it can begin develppoing the proper antibodies. Or was that the flu shot that did that..?

  6. 94
    Tammy shelmire Says:

    First I want to say my prayers are with anyone suffering from CHF. It’s not something anyone wants to go through or see a family member go through it. My grandpop is 83 years old, he was diagnosed with CHF a little over 3 years ago and refused any kind of surgery. So he’s been on medications to basically help him stay alive, he gets routine blood work and sees his cardiologist and family doctor on a routine basis, he had got progressively worse in da last year, he is in stage 5 now, he still has a normal appetite but he is tired more than often, he doesn’t have the energy to even walk from one room to the other and also without getting out of breath, and he needs help to wash himself up. He went to another cardiologist for a second opinion and the cardiologist told him, he can’t give an exact prognosis but he can give him an estimate of probably 3years without major heart surgery or 5 years with surgery. His cardiologist that he normally goes to called my grand mom a couple of wks ago and told her his echocardiogram is the same and basically whats going to eventually happen is his valve with eventually deteareate to nothing. Me, my family n himself refuse surgery due to his age, medical conditions including, CHF, hypertension, kidney failure, diabetes, and plus his heart is already so bad, his ejection fraction is less than 10%. We don’t want to risk him going under and them stopping his heart, in da condition he’s in were afraid he might not wake up and we might lose him sooner than we would have if we didn’t do the surgery. Me n my family are afraid that he’s going to go into sudden cardiac arrest. Please keep me n my family in your prayers. Thank you

  7. 93
    Joyce Loftin Says:

    My husband is the patient. He is 89 and his
    third year into CHF. Sleep – reduce the stress,
    Xnax. .5 mg. helps him relax. He is in stage
    four, I feel the end is near. Life is tragic
    for an active person, be 25 or 95, at least the
    older generations has lived a full life and the
    25 yr. old will never know the plesures and gifts
    of life. Seeing your loved one fade is so very
    hard. God bless those who care for them and advise
    us on care. Pray that all of you are patients of
    a CHF clinc, in addition to a good Cario Doc. May
    you all be blessed.

  8. 92
    Keyla Says:

    To Jane, June 18th: your situation sounds a lot like mine about 4 years ago. My mother was in hospice. After a couple of months she declined the services.
    The best suggestion I could give, is get a second opinion from another doctor.
    My mother has had many ups and downs (many of which have brought the family good scares), but she is still with us. Had my mother stayed under hospice care there is no doubt she would not be here today. There services are limited. This is nothing against hospice, I just believe this service is meant for people who truly are terminal. Hope this helps.

  9. 91
    Raven Says:

    I enjoyed reading this but only because I know I’m not alone. I’ve had CHF for the last 3 years due to 2 heart attacks I had while pregnant with my daughter. To be completely honest I didn’t take it very seriously until a few weeks ago due to a depression I had about it but the idea of having to undergo yet another surgery scares me and seeing my daughter grow up makes me realize that she needs me and I need to put more effort into this,I’m starting a regular home fitness and proper meal plan today to work towards getting better. Thank you all for your stories as it has helped me work through the issues I had with being as young as I am.

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