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Complications of Heart Failure – Problems That may Occur After Heart Failure

complications of heart failure Complications of heart failure are common and preventive measures should be taken to decrease their severity. Heart failure can be acute or chronic. Heart failure is termed as acute when symptoms of heart failure develop over a period of few days and heart failure is termed as chronic when symptoms of heart failure develop over the period of months.
Heart failure once occurs continue to progress unless intervened by pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions. There are various complications of heart failure. Some complications of heart failure occur due to heart failure itself while other complications occur due to the pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment of heart failure.
Following are the few common complications of heart failure.

Complications of Heart Failure:

1. Uremia:
Uremia is a complication of heart failure. It may occur as a result of diuretic therapy. The low cardiac output which is present in heart failure contributes to the progression of uremia. Treatment with vasodilators and dopamine may improve renal perfusion with blood and decrease the possibility of uremia.

2. Hypokalemia:
Hypokalemia is another complication of heart failure. Diuretic therapy causes hypokalemia. Hyperaldosteronism which usually occurs in heart failure increases the excretion of potassium.

3. Hyponatremia.
Again hyponatremia which is another complication of heart failure occurs due to diuretic therapy. Diuretics increase the excretion of both sodium and potassium (except Potassium-sparing diuretics) along with water. In decompensated heart failure inappropriate water retention takes place which may cause hyponatremia.

4. Impaired Liver Function:
In right heart failure, due to high back pressure, hepatic congestion occurs. Which impair liver function, hepatic tenderness and mild jaundice may occur and effect of those drugs which are metabolized by the liver may potentiate. (eg. anticoagulants)

5. Thromboembolism:
Due to blood stasis in deep veins of legs and dilated heart chambers, chances of thrombus and embolus formation increase several folds.

6. Arrhythmias:
It is another serious complication of heart failure. An underlying heart disease, Electrolyte changes, Increase circulating catecholamines and drugs, for example, digoxin may contribute to cardiac arrhythmias.
So these are the most common complications of heart failure.
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