Congestive Heart Failure

The term “heart failure” can be very alarming. While it does not mean the heart has “failed” or stopped working, it is a serious condition. Congestive heart failure (CHF) means the heart does not pump as well as it should to meet the body’s oxygen demands, often due to heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy or cardiovascular disease. CHF can result from either a reduced ability of the heart muscle to contract or from a mechanical problem that limits the ability of the heart’s chambers to fill with blood. When weakened, the heart is unable to keep up with the demands placed upon it; blood returns to the heart faster than it can be pumped out so that it gets backed up or congested—hence the name of the disorder. (John Hopkins Medicine)