If you've been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, the feeling of your chest constricting can be scary. With congestive heart failure, the heart’s capacity to pump blood cannot keep up with the body’s need. As the heart weakens, blood begins to back up and force liquid through the capillary walls. The term “congestive” refers to the resulting buildup of fluid in the ankles and feet, arms, lungs, and/or other organs.
Almost 6 million Americans have congestive heart failure. However, with the correct treatment, patients can recover to good health.