The signs of end stage congestive heart failure include breath shortness, exercise intolerance, fluid retention and swelling, which occur when a person is at rest, according to emedicinehealth. A patient in end stage congestive heart failure experiences these signs despite medical treatment.
Breath shortness occurs when there is fluid backup in the lungs, which hinders the entry of oxygen into the blood, explains emedicinehealth. This results in dyspnea at rest and orthopnea at night.
A patient experiencing end stage congestive heart failure may be unable to perform even light exercise, such as walking at a normal pace, due to insufficient oxygen supply in the blood caused by heart failure, notes emedicinehealth. Such a patient may also experience edema in the legs, ankles, feet, hips and scrotum.