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Symptoms, Causes & Treatments of Heart Failure

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Dr Ruth Kam is a reputed cardiologist at Ruth Kam Heart and Arrhythmia Clinic in Singapore. Here, she has shared a useful powerpoint presentation on symptoms, causes & treatments of heart failure which is very beneficial to heart patients. Want to know more about treatments for heart failure? visit

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Presentation Transcript
what is heart failure
What is Heart Failure?

In medical terms heart failure is defined as the condition when heart is unable to pump enough blood required for normal body functions.

Human body needs sufficient amount of oxygen which is supplied by heart through blood. Heart failure is a serious condition and needs immediate medical care.

what are the symptoms
What are the Symptoms?

Difficulty in breathing particularly on exertion such as climbing stairs, walking and doing housework.

Legs, ankles and abdomen get swollen due to the accumulation of water

A lethargic and weak feeling


Difficulty in sleeping

A feeling of breathlessness when lying down (lungs get congested on lying down because of the back damming effect). This condition is medically termed as pulmonary edema. This condition is inevitable since the patient can get collapsed anytime.

what are the causes of heart failure
What are the Causes of Heart Failure?

The major causes of this ailment includes:

CHD or coronary heart disease

High blood pressure


coronary heart disease
Coronary Heart Disease

It is a condition in which a wax like substance known as plaque is developed inside the coronary arteries. These are the arteries which supply oxygen-rich blood to the cardiac muscles.

Due to this substance the arteries becomes narrower which results into improper blood flow to the heart muscles. In such a condition there is a high possibility of blood clots formation inside the arteries. This can partially or completely block the blood flow.


CHD can result into chronic chest pain or discomfort also known as angina, a heart damage, a heart attack, or even death.

high blood pressure
High Blood Pressure

When the force of blood is applied against the walls of the arteries, such a condition is termed as high blood pressure.

If the force rises and stays longer it can affect your heart by weakening it. It can also lead to plaque buildup.


It is an ailment in which glucose level in blood increases.

Food breaks down into glucose which is carried by the blood to the cells.

A hormone called insulin is used by the cells to turn glucose into energy.

If a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, body cells are unable to produce sufficient amount of insulin.


High blood sugar levels can weaken and damage the cardiac muscles and the blood vessels around the heart which can ultimately result into heart failure.


List of the Heart Failure Treatments:

  • Medication is the first line of treatment for heart failure. The drugs include the following:
  • Diuretics (frusemide, spironolactone, metolazone)
  • Beta blockers (bisoprolol, carvedilol, metoprolol, nebivolol)

ACE inhibitors (captopril, enalapril, ramipril, peridopril)

  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (candesartan, valsartan, losartan, irbesartan)
  • Digoxin
  • Nitrates

Cardiac dysrhythmia or arrhythmias is a condition which leads to abnormal heart activity i.e. heart beats are either too fast or too slow. This can be cured through pacemaker implantation and ablation.

  • Correction of valve disease or congenital defects through surgery are also be performed before the condition gets serious.

If medication or other means fail to improve the condition, left ventricular assist devices and / or heart transplantation is opted.

  • For patients in cardiogenic shock, ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenator) therapy is given to stabilize the condition temporarily.
about doctor
About Doctor

Dr Ruth Kam


MBBS (Singapore)

MRCP (Int Med) (UK)

M Med (Int Med) (Singapore),

FAMS (Cardiology), FRCP (Edin)

contact info
Contact info

Address: Ruth Kam Heart and Arrhythmia Clinic, 290 Orchard Road, #14-10 Paragon, Singapore 238859

Tel:+65 63333 6866

Fax:+65 63333 6266

24Hrs Answering Service: +65 6535 8833


operating hours
Operating Hours

We are open:

Mon – Fri: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Sat: 8:30 am to 1 pm