Decompensated heart failure
- Patients with decompensated HF will experience fluid accumulation, which results in fluid in the lungs and peripheral edema.
- Such patients will have breathing problems that are exacerbated when lying down. To ameliorate this condition, patients may need to sleep with their head elevated. The higher the elevation needed, the more severe the HF.
- Swelling of the extremities may also occur, resulting in pitting edema.
- Medications are given to reduce the fluid overload.
- When adequately treated and with no signs or symptoms present, the condition is referred to as compensated HF.