JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart failure. Cutaway illustration of a human heart showing congestive ventricular heart failure. Blood vessels connecting the heart to the rest of the body are at top. The body's main vein the vena cava is blue and main artery, the aorta is red. The ventricle at right has an abnormally thick wall. This means that one side of the heart will fail to empty itself, and hence pump blood effectively at each contraction. This results in a blackflow of pressure in the veins causing abnormal swellings (oedemas) in the lungs or other organs. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and fatigue. Short-term treatment includes bed-rest and diuretic drugs.
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