, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 112-121
Date: 26 Mar 2013

Acute Heart Failure Treatment

Abstract

Dyspnea is the predominant symptom for patients with acute heart failure and initial treatment is largely directed towards the alleviation of this. Contrary to conventional belief, not all patients present with fluid overload, and the approach to management is rapidly evolving from a solitary focus on diuresis to one that more accurately reflects the complex interplay of underlying cardiac dysfunction and acute precipitant. Effective treatment thus requires an understanding of divergent patient profiles and an appreciation of various therapeutic options for targeted patient stabilization. The key principle within this paradigm is directed management that aims to diminish the work of breathing through situation appropriate ventilatory support, volume reduction, and hemodynamic improvement. With such an approach, clinicians can more efficiently address respiratory discomfort while reducing the likelihood of avoidable harm.