What is Chronic Heart Failure?
Definition of Chronic Heart Failure
Heart failure means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. The chambers of the heart respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body. This helps to keep the blood moving, but in time, the heart muscle walls weaken and are unable to pump as strongly. If signs or symptoms after treatment remain in place an individual has chronic heart failure. In order to qualify the Social Security Administration (SSA) is requiring some proof of vascular congestion that has been documented at some time. In regard to children they must show the same signs of vascular congestion at some point in their medical history. However children's growth tends to be affected because of this congenital heart disease.
For this condition to be severe enough to meet the Social Security Administration's listing the claimant must have:
- Current cardiac enlargement documented by either cardiothoracic ratio of greater than 50% on a PA chest x-ray showing good inspiration or enlargement of the left ventricular end diastolic diameter as measured by 2 dimensional echocardiography of greater than 5.5 centimeters; OR
- Poor function of the left ventricle of the heart, demonstrated by an S3 gallop heard with a stethoscope, abnormal wall motion of the left ventricle, AND an inability to perform on an exercise test at a workload equivalent of five MET's or less, due to symptoms of chronic heart failure; AND marked limitation of ordinary physical activity by symptoms such as palpitations, fatigue, dyspnea, or angina.