Types of Heart Failure: Stages and Classes
Nature of Heart Failure
The normal human heart is the most advanced and reliable machine on earth. Nothing comes close. The heart beats 100-150,000 times every day. Multiply that by 365 days a year times the 75-80 years of an average human life span and you begin to see what an incredibly amazing and reliable machine the heart is.
Heart failure is the slow progressive destruction of the heart. Heart failure is not so much a disease as it is a constellation of signs and symptoms caused by the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
There are many different types of heart failure depending on the cause but the fundamental problem is the same: the heart’s function is not adequate which causes every organs to deal with limited oxygen and nutrients. The severity of heart failure depends on the degree to which the body’s needs are not being met.
Stages of Heart Failure
Because heart failure is progressive condition, it is important to gage where along the course a person is. In 2001, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology developed a rating system to evaluate the progression of heart failure symptoms (called AHA Stages). This system allows doctors all over the world to speak a common language when it comes to how advanced a patient’s heart failure has become.
Staging heart failure, similar to staging cancer, allows the appropriate medications and devices to be deployed at the right time and for the right patient.