1A01, 2C04, 3C00

Key points

  • Dysregulation of heart rate, preload, afterload, or contractility can precipitate heart failure.

  • Decompensation occurs when adaptive responses are either inadequate or become counter productive.

  • Heart failure is managed by improving forward flow and relieving venous congestion.

  • These goals are achieved by optimizing heart rate, preload, afterload, and contractility.

  • Patient assessment and diagnosis should be concurrent with immediate resuscitation whilst initiating definitive treatment.

Heart failure is a clinical syndrome arising when abnormal cardiac structure or function prevents oxygen delivery meeting tissue metabolic demand despite normal filling pressures or only at the expense of elevated filling pressures.1 The lifetime risk of developing heart failure (HF) is 20% for adults more than 40 years of age in the developed world....

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