People with severe heart failure feel 'like drowning'

Last Updated : 24 September 2012, 09:05 IST

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Severe heart failure can cause the lungs to be filled with fluid, which leaves people feeling like they are drowning, a new survey has found.

The survey of 2,170 adults by the British Heart Foundation suggests that more than three-quarters of respondents are unaware of the effects of severe heart failure on people's lives.

Researchers found that 80 per cent of adults are unaware of its impact on everyday life, the 'BBC News' reported.

More than a third of those surveyed thought that heart failure meant that the heart stopped working altogether and 33 per cent wrongly believed the heart could repair itself.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said more and more people are surviving heart attacks due to advances in medicine but this creates its own problem.

"People with acute, severe heart failure have a worse prognosis than most cancers. Heart failure has a very significant effect on morbidity. It can be disabling, it can leave people breathless and they can end up chair-bound and bed-bound," Knapton said.

There is no cure for heart failure, which can lead to extreme exhaustion and breathlessness.

While patients with mild heart failure can live a relatively normal life with the help of drugs, those with severe heart failure can suffer prolonged pain and distress.
Everyday tasks such as having a shower or doing the shopping require enormous amounts of energy and leave them exhausted.

Published 24 September 2012, 09:01 IST

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