• MEDICAL CONDITION
Heart failure

Heart failure

Synonyms: Cardiac failure, CHF, Congestive heart failure, Left-sided heart failure, Right-sided heart failure, HF, Chronic heart failure, Congestive cardiac failure, CCF

DESCRIPTION

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. In some cases, the heart can't fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can't pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems.

The term 'heart failure' doesn't mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. However, heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care.

Heart failure develops over time as the heart's pumping action grows weaker. The condition can affect the right side of the heart only, or it can affect both sides of the heart. Most cases involve both sides of the heart.

Right-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. Left-side heart failure occurs if the heart can't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.

www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health