What is CHF? Chronic Heart Failure, or CHF occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the needs of the body as a result of weakened heart pumping strength. Doctors index heart strength by a parameter called the Ejection Fraction (EF). A normal EF is greater than 55%, but in CHF, it typically falls to values less than 45-50%. A failing heart is most often the result of damage to the heart muscle from injuries such as heart attack, untreated coronary artery disease, or persistent high blood pressure. It can also be a genetically inherited condition or can occur as a result of an infection.
How common is CHF? Heart failure is a disease of epidemic proportions that affects more than 25 million people across the world. One out of 10 people over the age of 65 will suffer from heart failure (American Heart Association; www.americanheart.org).
What are the symptoms of CHF? Common symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, persistent coughing and difficulty performing everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or climbing stairs. Another sign of heart failure is the accumulation of fluids in the legs, feet, abdomen, lower back and lungs.
How is CHF treated? Heart failure is a chronic disease requiring lifelong management. Some forms of heart failure are treated with drugs or with implanted devices such as pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators. However, these treatments are not suitable for all patients and do not always result in an improvement of symptoms. The Optimizer IVs System with CCM technology has been developed to help ease the symptoms in most patients where other treatments are either not applicable or have proven to be minimally effective.