The new Stage B is the time to correct the functional damage that tends to build and develop into classic heart failure (Gibson et al., 2021; Bozkurt et al., 2021). Methods of intervention at this point include beta blockers for hypertension, cardiac catheterization to correct blockage of an artery, or even a replacement of a bad heart valve that a patient has been living with.
Stage C of the Universal Definition is where traditional thinking about heart failure begins. You can visibly see that something is wrong, audibly you can hear the shortness of breath, tactilely you can feel edema in the ankles, and the client reports feelings of fatigue and shortness of breath. Using these clues, you can discern that heart and/or circulatory issues exist.
As mentioned above in the initial definition of heart failure, heart failure is a clinical syndrome. A clinical syndrome is a recognizable cluster of signs and symptoms (Bozkurt et al., 2021). For the clinical syndrome of heart failure to be diagnosed, the presence of at least some of the following cardinal symptoms of heart failure are required (Bozkurt et al., 2021):
- Fluid retention/edema
- Activity intolerance
- Exercise limitation
Now that we have reviewed the general symptoms of heart failure, review the following case study to begin to apply what you have learned in this first course within the Heart Failure Series.