What Symptoms Are in the Last Stage of Heart Failure?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of advanced heart failure include dyspnea or shortness of breath, pain, depression, fatigue and edema, according to the American Heart Association. Other symptoms include eating and digestive symptoms, fear, anxiety and sadness, explains MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

End-of-life heart failure patients often experience dyspnea and breathlessness, according to MedlinePlus. They have trouble breathing and experience a feeling of tightness in the chest. They may feel as if they are being smothered or that they are not getting enough air. The breathlessness may make it hard for the patients to sleep because they are unable to breathe while lying down. Pain is also a common symptom of advanced heart failure, explains the American Heart Association.

Twenty-one percent to 36 percent of patients with advanced heart failure become depressed, reports the American Heart Association. Fatigue is also a common symptom, and most patients are unable to complete easy tasks. At the end-of-life stage, some patients have edema, which is the collection of fluid in the tissues or cavities of the body.

Symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue may make it difficult for patients to eat properly, explains MedlinePlus. This results in weight loss and wasting of muscles. Other patients have problems with bowel function and bladder control. As they near the end of their life, patients may experience anxiety, sadness and fear.

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