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Basic Facts on Treating Heart Failure

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a weakening of the heart’s muscle that reduces its pumping power. Your heart tries to pump more blood, but over time the heart muscle walls weaken. As a result, your body doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Symptoms of heart failure can include shortness of breath from fluid in the lungs, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, cold and clammy skin, or rapid and irregular heartbeat. Heart failure can result from coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle damage from infection, alcohol or drugs), or an overworked heart (caused by high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, or a defect from birth).

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What do the measures mean and why are they important?

These scores are displayed as percentages and show how well NJ hospitals are providing care for eligible heart failure patients. Patients with contraindications, those at higher risk of experiencing complications to any of the recommended treatments are excluded from the scores for that treatment. Higher percentages indicate better performance.

Left Ventricular Systolic (LVS) Function Assessment

  • THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of heart failure patients who had their LVS function evaluated before hospital arrival, during hospitalization, or had a test planned following discharge.

  • THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because an assessment of your heart’s left side, the main pumping chamber, is needed to determine how well your heart is pumping. Results help determine appropriate treatment.
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