Stage of Heart Failure & Criteria for Heart Transplantation

The heart is the engine of the human body. Every minute it pumps more than 4.5 litres of blood through our body, beating around 1000,000 times a day. It is amazingly resilient and the hardest working muscle in the human body that works like a clockwork despite all the hardships we subject our body to.

Existing medical conditions like Diabetes, Coronary heart diseases, Hypertension, Obesity or Congenital heart defects can impede the heart’s ability to perform its functions. And when supplemented by unhealthy lifestyle choices like reduced physical activity, smoking and poor food habits further fast track these problems into possible heart failure situations. The last decade has witnessed a stupendous rise in the heart failure cases leading to a surge in a number of successful heart transplantations in Hyderabad.

Heart Failure – Stages and Treatments:

Failure of the heart to pump the blood needed for the human body to perform all its functions efficiently is called heart failure. When the weakened heart doesn’t supply enough blood to the body gradually results in a series of symptoms which depend on the stage of heart failure.

Stages of Heart Failure:
Being a chronic long- term condition which worsens gradually over time. According to heart transplant surgeons, there are 4 stages in congested heart failure

Stage A:

A patient is diagnosed to have a Stage A of heart failure when he has a close family history of heart problems or is diagnosed with conditions like Diabetes, CAD, Hypertension, Smoking and alcohol addiction, etc. Regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and medications are advised to the Stage A patient.

Stage B:

The patient is this stage is diagnosed with ventricular dysfunction but don’t usually experience symptoms of heart failure. In addition to the treatments suggested for Stage A above, medications are amped-up and possible corrective surgery for medical conditions is evaluated by the heart surgeons.

Stage C:

While Stage A and Stage B are considered pre-heart failure, Stage C is where patients are diagnosed with heart failure. Shortness of breath, coughing, fatigues, and gradually inability to walk, carry or climb stairs are some of the symptoms experienced by patients in this stage.

Stage D & Stage E: 
Patients in these stages of heart failure suffers severe symptoms and may not get progressively better with any of the treatment plans in the above stages. Advanced options like ventricular assist devices, heart surgeries, and research therapies and advanced drug infusions are evaluated.

Criteria for Heart Transplantation

Heart Transplantation is an option considered by the heart transplant surgeons to treat heart failure when there are no other options to successfully treat a heart failure patient. The diseased heart of the patient is replaced with a compatible healthy heart from the organ donor.
Initially, a team of heart transplant surgeons evaluates the suitability of heart transplantation by performing blood, imaging and other perspective tests. As the patient’s recommended to require the heart transplantation procedure, the patient is put on the waiting list until the healthy heart from the organ of the same blood group is ready for heart transplantation.

So, when to consult a heart specialist?

Shortness of breath, chest pain, inability to perform physical activity, weakness and incessant coughing are some of the symptoms of heart failure, especially if you are an older adult. Patients are advised to consult a heart specialist as soon as possible if they experience the said symptoms. But when you have a family history of heart conditions or suffer from medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, CAD, infections or even obesity you are advised to undergo a regular health check-up to monitor your health in order to effectively treat potential health problems in the near future.
If you would like to consult a heart specialist to help you with your heart condition, Padma Shri Dr. Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale is the best heart transplantation surgeon in South India who can help you. You can contact him here: