Symptoms of End-Stage Congestive Heart Failure

Symptoms of End-Stage Congestive Heart Failure

End-stage congestive heart failure essentially is the last stage or the stage D of congestive heart failure where all kinds of treatment procedures and strategic therapies to manage the symptoms of the heart disease fail to show desirable results. The patient becomes unable to practically involve in any form of physical activity. According to the New York Heart Association classification, end-stage denotes the stage IV of the progression of congestive heart failure. The heart seems to grow quite weaker with progression and the treatment procedure becomes all the more complex.

Symptoms of End-Stage Congestive Heart Failure

What are the Symptoms Of End-Stage Congestive Heart Failure?

The most primary symptoms of the end-stage congestive heart failure involve the inability to do any physical activity. Any form of activity result in shortness of breath in the patient. The other symptoms associated include-

Tiredness or Fatigue – The heart muscles actually worn out and any activity becomes novel for the patient. The end-stage congestive heart failure patient may feel tired all the time and would want to rest.

Edema – Excessive swelling is seen to take place in most body parts, especially at the periphery like the ankles, feet, hands and legs. Sometimes patients of end-stage congestive heart failure also have swollen tummy. This basically occurs due to the inability of the heart to pump blood and circulate throughout the body. As a result, fluid retention occurs. The patient may also gain weight due to such retention.

Loss of Appetite – The patient may tend to eat less and may not even ask for food. The drive of hunger slowly starts to die and with progression of the disease loss of appetite gets more pronounced. However, there is no weight loss because of fluid retention over the period.

Increased Coughing – There may be a presence of dry cough initial to the heart disease which gradually worsens as the disease progresses. The phlegm so coughed out may have a pinkish hue. This is the indication of small amount of blood in the cough. In the end-stage congestive heart failure, the cough worsens to a point that even while lying down the patient is seen to cough heavily.

Heart Palpitations – The patient of may feel his heart to beat too fast or hard at times. This is basically the palpitations which occur due to irregular pumping efficiency of the diseased heart. Since the heart cannot pump normally, sometimes it tries to make up by pumping faster than normal. Such a symptom is quite common in the end-stage of congestive heart failure.

Frequent Urination – Due to the water retention so occurring there may be a need of frequent urination for the end-stage congestive heart failure patient. With the progression of the disease, the need too increases. 

Being Anxious – Congestive heart failure is a major disease which makes the patient all the more worried about his health and the future. Anxiety increases and this becomes overtly visible in form of sweating and shortness of breath. It is quite common for anxiety and depression to creep in.

What Should The Caregiver Remember When The Patient Is At The End-Stage Congestive Heart Failure?

Various important decisions of the patient’s life have to be taken by the caregivers surrounding the patient. Great responsibilities come up on the caregiver as the patient gradually becomes completely dependent. The caregiver should always be on his toes because there can arise an emergency at any point of time. The patient may have to be admitted to the hospital frequently during the last stage. Symptoms can worsen overnight and the caregivers should be prepared for it.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 26, 2019

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