It is important to know that ‘heart failure’ does not mean that the heart has already failed, but instead it describes a spectrum of weakening of the heart muscle that can span from very mild to very advanced. Although not always the case, in the majority of patients this weakening can take months or years to progress, not days or weeks. This is also related to the treatment, which can range from medications and/or surgery at the mild to moderate stages to consideration of an artificial heart device or heart transplant at the most advanced stages. Not every patient’s heart function will continue to worsen to the advanced stages. Understanding your individual outlook for heart failure is best addressed by discussing the strength of your heart’s function with your doctor, and by asking about the treatment options available to you at each stage.
David H. Sibley, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursCardiology PC
801 Princeton Ave SW Ste 707
Birmingham, AL 35211
- BlueCross BlueShield
- BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama
- First Health
- Great-West Healthcare Cigna
- United Healthcare
- Princeton Baptist Medical Center
- What is the outlook for heart failure?
How do medications treat heart birth defects?
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
Medications can help treat mild heart birth defects by helping improve heart pumping and function. In some cases, this can decrease the impact of the heart defect. Antibiotics are also common medications used in people with heart birth defects. Though they do not treat the defect, they help to prevent bacterial infections that can be deadly, as the birth defect makes them more susceptible to infection.
How does the heart muscle itself get oxygen-rich blood?
Discovery Health answered
Coronary arteries are the blood vessels we try to keep clear through healthy eating. Blocked coronary arteries result in a heart attack.
The heart, like any organ, requires blood for oxygen and other nutrients so it can do its work. The heart does not gather oxygen or nutrients from the blood flowing inside it. Instead, it receives blood from coronary arteries that eventually carry blood into the heart muscle. Approximately 4 - 5 percent of the heart's blood output goes to the coronary arteries.
The heart also has veins to collect oxygen-poor blood from the heart muscle. Most major veins of the heart drain into the coronary sinus. The sinus opens into the right atrium.
A blockage in one of the coronary arteries causes coronary artery disease. When a coronary artery is partially blocked, it cannot supply enough blood to the heart muscle. The muscle needs this blood to meet its needs during exertion. If someone with coronary artery disease exerts himself, it causes chest pain. This is from lack of blood and oxygen to part of the heart muscle. The pain is called angina. If the obstruction worsens, a condition called unstable angina can occur. When a coronary artery is completely blocked, meaning no blood or oxygen is getting to the heart muscle, a heart attack occurs. This also causes chest pain and death to the heart muscle served by the blocked artery.
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