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Heart failure occurs when your heart does not pump as much blood as the body needs. Failure does not mean that the heart has stopped pumping but rather that it is not pumping as well as it should. Over time, this causes fluid buildup in your lungs and other parts of your body. Fluid buildup can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen ankles, and other problems. Heart failure is treated with medicines, a heart-healthy lifestyle, and the steps you take to check your symptoms. Treatment can slow the disease, help you feel better, and help keep you out of the hospital. Treatment may also help you live longer.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 if you have symptoms of sudden heart failure such as:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you develop new symptoms.
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Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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