Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure. Actress Elizabeth Taylor, 78, was hospitalized Friday for congestive heart failure, a condition she has been suffering with since at least 2004. What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart's function as a pump is inadequate to deliver oxygen rich blood to the body.

Congestive heart failure can be caused by:

  1. diseases that weaken the heart muscle,
  2. diseases that cause stiffening of the heart muscles, or
  3. diseases that increase oxygen demand by the body tissue beyond the capability of the heart to deliver adequate oxygen-rich blood.
The heart has two atria (right atrium and left atrium) that make up the upper chambers of the heart, and two ventricles (left ventricle and right ventricle) that make up the lower chambers of the heart. The ventricles are muscular chambers that pump blood when the muscles contract. The contraction of the ventricle muscles is called systole.

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