Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle does not pump as much blood as the body needs. Failure does not mean that the heart has stopped pumping but rather that it is failing to pump as effectively as it should.
The body tries to compensate for the heart's reduced pumping ability by:
Holding on to (retaining) salt and water to increase the amount of blood in the bloodstream.
Increasing the heart rate.
Increasing the size of the heart.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Stephen Fort MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology