Heart Failure | Overview


What is heart failure?

Despite the way it sounds, the term "heart failure" simply means that your heart isn't pumping blood as well as it should. Heart failure does not mean your heart has stopped working or that you are having a heart attack (though people who have heart failure often have had a heart attack in the past). Heart failure is also called congestive heart failure (CHF). "Congestive" means fluid is building up in the body because the heart isn't pumping properly.


Reducing Readmissions for Congestive Heart Failure by RE Hoyt, CAPT, MC, USN, and LS Bowling, LTCR, MC, USN (American Family Physician May 15, 2001, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010415/1593.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00