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Objectives

At the end of this section you will be able to:

  • Identify the general symptoms of left and right sided heart failure

  • Explain the differences in how men and women describe and experience heart failure symptoms

  • Explain how the body compensates for a failing heart

Symptoms of CHF 

Symptom presentation can give clues as to the type of heart failure, and its source; you may be able to tell which side of the heart is failing.

 Left

 leads to congestion in the lungs

Dyspnea

Fatigue

Coughing (perhaps productive of pinkish, blood tinged sputum)

 Right

 leads to congestion in other parts of the body

Edema of the feet, legs and ankles

(may spread to lungs, liver and abdomen)

Increased urinary frequency

Renal hypoperfusion