Acute Heart Failure

Acute heart Failure is an emergency situation requiring immediate medical intervention. The symptoms of heart failure are very severe and develop in a short period of time. Acute heart failure can be seen in heart attacks involving a big portion of the heart muscle and in heart attacks where the papillary muscles rupture leading to acute severe mitral incompetence .

If acute pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs) develops, supplementary oxygen should be given through a face mask. Diuretics and other drugs such as nitroglycerin are given intravenously. Nitroglycerin kept under the tongue can be a life-saver. Morphine helps to reduce the anxiety that accompanies acute pulmonary edema. It also slows the heart rate and the rate of breathing, dilates blood vessels, thus reducing the load on the heart. A mechanical ventilator can assist breathing in acute conditions.

Short time measures that improve the condition of the heart temporarily include drugs such as dopamine or dobutamine, which make the heart to contract forcefully but they have poor long term outcome.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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