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Current time:0:00Total duration:4:22

Symptoms of right sided heart failure

Video transcript

so we know that the symptoms of heart failure can be a little different depending on which side of the heart we're talking about if we're going to talk about the right side we're talking about the side that deals with the blood that's just been used by the body and so it has less oxygen or we call it deoxygenated blood so this blood comes in to the right side and then it's pumped to the lungs where it can get more oxygen there and it can get reactivated and if we have right-sided heart failure this means that the heart doesn't pump as much blood as it should to the lungs and so the symptoms that result are going to be a little different for this type than when we talk about left-sided failure where it pumps it to the body what is similar though is that we can talk about both forward and backward failure symptoms and let's just remember that forward failure means that these symptoms revolve around the right sides ability to pump blood out of the heart to the lungs and when we say backward failure we're talking about the symptoms that result from this backup of blood that's trying to get into the heart and this time it's in the right side so it's coming from the body so starting with forward failure just like in the left side weakness and fatigue is going to be a major symptom but it comes about slightly differently so the right side is responsible for pumping blood to the lungs that's been used up by the body so in other words there's less oxygen and more carbon dioxide usually you'd want this blood pumped to your lungs to have that carbon dioxide exchanged for oxygen so it's like you're trading the carbon dioxide for oxygen but when it's not pumping as much blood that means there isn't as much of this exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen and so the body receives less oxygen and this is felt just as before as tiredness weakness and fatigue since your body needs oxygen and it doesn't need carbon dioxide and when your body doesn't receive as much oxygen what does your heart do it tries to make up for it it tries to compensate and just like in left-sided failure it's going to try to both beat harder and beat faster and this can sometimes be felt as palpitations palpitations meaning that it feels like your heart's racing or maybe it feels like it's beating a lot harder than it usually does so overall these symptoms these forward failure symptoms are going to be very similar to left-sided failure backward failure symptoms remember our symptoms of congestion or fluid buildup and this fluid buildup in right-sided failure though unlike in left-sided failure doesn't happen in the lungs where does it happen then well let's think about this circulatory system again for a second since the deoxygenated blood is coming from the body but that side isn't pumping it out as well it starts to back up to the body and just like the classic traffic jam analogy as less cars are let through they start to get backed up right what's the same thing with the heart but this time the Bloods backing up into the body all right so it builds up in the body but that's pretty vague though right because I feel like there's a lot of places in the body where I could build up well since your feet in your legs are usually the lowest part of your body right gravity tends to cause that fluid to build up in your lower extremities and it's not uncommon for patients to have this fluid buildup and swelling in their ankles in another area of potential swelling that's not in your lower extremities is actually in the veins of your neck and most visibly in the jugular vein so remember that veins carry blood to your heart and arteries carry blood away from your heart and the jugular vein carries deoxygenated blood from your head so this vein is trying to carry this deoxygenated blood from your head to the right side of your heart but with backward failure it's going to have some trouble doing that right and this fluid can start to build up and cause the pressure in these veins or the venous pressure to increase and this will cause these veins to visibly swell and more fluid means more fluid weight right so it follows that just like left-sided heart failure some patients might notice that they're gaining weight and this is due to the extra fluid weight unlike left-sided failure though where urine production actually goes down now urination may actually increase especially at night when you lie down so when you're lying down gravity causes this fluid that's accumulated in your legs feet and ankles to move back into the bloodstream where it can be taken up by the kidneys and eliminated as urine and this will cause more frequent urination at night