Adult patients with cardiac failure: an update
Heart failure is considered to be a common condition in the adult population and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Many advances have been made in the way in which heart failure is classified, diagnosed, managed and treated, and the body of knowledge is ever-expanding. This results in a need for frequent re-review of treatment guidelines and the emerging data from ongoing research. Due to the vastness of the subject matter, however, this article can only focus on the basic essentials to try and elucidate some of the current strategies pertaining to this condition in general. Certain associated pathological conditions and modalities are therefore beyond the scope of this article and the reader is advised to consult the latest international guidelines for more detailed explanations of advanced treatment strategies, the cardiomyopathies, congenital heart defects, acute cardiac failure, and heart failure within the context of myocardial infarction, cardiac valve replacement surgery, coronary artery revascularisation and other specialised examples.