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What is congestion in congestive heart failure?

Congestion in congestive heart failure indicates fluid retention which may be seen in the feet/ankles or in the abdomen. Congestion may also be in the lungs which leads to breathing difficulties. Shortness of breath with exertion, while reclining or awakening from sleep are symptoms of congestion.
Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The congestion in congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to the congestion that occurs in the lungs and body as a result of a weakened heart.  The heart is basically a pump.  If the pump fails or weakens, blood cannot be pumped out as well as before.  Fluid builds up in the lungs and in the dependent parts of our bodies, like our feet and legs. 
Susie Whitworth
Nursing
Congestive heart failure ocurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body's organs. The pumping of the heart is ineffective. Since the pumping of the heart is ineffective, blood backs up in the tissues, causing swelling, usually in the lower extremities. Congestive heart failure can also impair the funciton of the kidneys.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The congestion in congestive heart failure refers to the build up of extra fluid as your body retains water and salt to increase the amount of blood in circulation. This animation helps explain how congestive heart failure develops.



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.