Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Congestive heart failure or simple heart failure refers to the incapability of a human heart to meet the requirements of tissues and organs for the supply of oxygen and other essential nutrients. Heart failure problem does not imply that heart of a person stopped performing its functions. Instead, it indicates the weak pumping power of one’s heart than usual.

With the problem of heart failure, movement of blood from heart towards the body takes place at a relatively slow rate to increase the cardiac pressure. This pressure prevents heart from pumping enough nutrients and oxygen to meet with the requirements of a human body. Heart chambers may give response by stretch to hold a higher amount of blood for pumping through the body or by making it stiff.

Despite it allows movement of blood; muscles walls of the heart become weak eventually and fail to pump in an efficient way. Thus, kidneys respond by retaining water, salt and other fluids from the body. If fluid formation takes place in legs, arms, feet, ankles, lungs and other nearby organs, body of a person congests and causes the problem of congestive heart failure. Because of this, cardiologists mention this term as congestive heart failure.

How Many Stages Are There For Congestive Heart Failure?

Stages as Per ACC and AHA

According to the research work conducted by ACC i.e. American College of Cardiology and AHA i.e. American Heart Association, human beings deal with four different stages of their congestive heart failure. They have classified these 4 stages as stage A, stage B, stage C, and stage D, based primarily on the degree or extent of functional limits and symptoms.

Stages and Symptoms

Now, let us have a look on stages, individual symptoms and treatment plans of a congestive heart failure in detail.

Stage A: In Stage A type of heart failure, individuals remain at high risk related to the development of heart failure also called as pre-heart failure. Especially, people suffering from coronary artery problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, history related to alcoholic abuse and history related to rheumatic fever remain at higher risk to suffer from stage A heart failure.

Stage B: Individuals diagnosed with the dysfunction of systolic left ventricular but do not suffer with heart failure or pre-heart failure symptoms, along with patients of valve disease, prior heart attack and cardiomyopathy may likely suffer from Stage B heart problem.

Stage C: Stage C type of congestive heart failure takes place in various patients with the known type of systolic heart failure in combination with prior or current symptoms. Here, patients deal with a few common problems, such as fatigue, breathing shortness and reduction in physical abilities.

Stage D: Patients in Stage D suffer from systolic heart failure problem. In addition, they have many advanced symptoms, which are present in stage C even after they receive optimum level of medical care.

Stages as Per NYHA

NYHA i.e. New York Heart Association classified heart failure stages as class I, class II, class III and class IV. Conditions include-

Class I: Patients do not have any limitation in doing physical activities

Class II: Patients have minor limitation in physical capacity and seldom suffer from angina pain palpitations and fatigue.

Class III: Patients have significant limitation in their physical activities. Even they suffer from angina pain, palpitation and fatigue even by doing ordinary activities.

Class IV: Patients fail to carry out any physical activity or do with discomfort. Even the discomfort level increases after a physical activity.

The stages will also let you to know about the necessary lifestyle changes and the necessity of other treatments required.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 27, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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