What is Heart Failure?
Without enough blood flow, your body doesn’t get enough of what it needs to stay alive. Parts of the body – such as the kidneys or liver – start dying. People cannot continue living when major organs such as the kidneys or the liver stop working, unless they receive therapy.
As the heart gets weaker, it pumps less and less well. That’s when you’re in end-stage heart failure. This means that your heart has arrived at the end of its life and will become weaker and weaker over time. Heart failure is not any one thing; rather, it is a group of worrisome signs. Most people with this stage of heart failure have shortness of breath, either at rest or with light exertion, and they can feel fatigued.
“My heart was not getting better and it will never get better. The medications were not working anymore.”
How do You Get Heart Failure?
How Does Heart Failure Feel?
- shortness of breath
- swollen legs
- feeling weak
- feeling lightheaded or confused
You may be taking medicines that treat these symptoms and make you feel better. Your medicine may make you feel better, but you may not be getting better. Even if your medicine makes you feel OK, you may still be in end-stage heart failure. You still need to make a decision about what to do next.
Options for Treating End-Stage Heart Failure
- Getting a Transplant
- Getting Palliative Care
Your doctor may recommend that you get an LVAD, which helps pump blood through the body. Use this website to learn more about the LVAD and LVAD surgery, and to make an informed decision about whether an LVAD is right for you.