heart failure is not a heart attack

Many people believe that heart failure and a heart attack are one and the same, but that isn’t true. Heart failure, sometimes called a “weak heart,” develops over time and is defined simply as: A heart that is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. As a result of continued inadequate blood flow, pressure within the blood vessels of the heart and lungs increases, eventually leading to congestive symptoms and shortness of breath. Heart failure is a serious, long-term (chronic) condition1. It's also progressive, meaning it continues and worsens2. Treatments can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer.3 Read more about living with an LVAD ...

do you know the symptoms of heart failure? 4

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Persistent wheezing or cough that produces white or pink blood-tinged mucus.
  3. Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, or abdomen, or weight gain
  4. Tiredness, fatigue
  5. Lack of appetite, nausea
  6. Confusion or impaired thinking
  7. Increased heart rate

If you or someone you know is experiencing more than one of these symptoms, talk to a doctor or heart failure specialist immediately.

how is heart failure impacting your life?

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The progression of heart failure

The NYHA (New York Heart Association) Heart Failure Class System is widely used to define the extent of heart failure.5 As the disease and symptoms progress, the heart failure class level advances from early stage heart failure – Class I, to end stage heart failure – Class IV. The graphic below shows limitations on activity level and thus, quality of life, at each stage.

  • Class I

    No symptoms or limitations to activity.

  • Class II

    Slight limitations of physical activity. Comfortable at rest; ordinary physical activity results in feeling tired and short of breath.

  • Class III

    Significant limitations of physical activity. Less than ordinary activity results in feeling tired and short of breath.

  • Class IV

    Unable to carry on any physical activity without discomfort. Tired and short of breath even at rest.

Heart failure management options

Management options for heart failure may include a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, implantable devices such as a pacemaker, defibrillator or left ventricular assist device (LVAD), and transplant. The chart below shows some of the devices that may be recommended by a doctor at different stages of heart failure. Roll over or tap the device images below to learn more.

class I
class IIIB

An LVAD is a mechanical device that helps hearts that are too weak to pump blood. It does not replace the heart. It assists the heart in pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body so that the organs and muscles can function properly. The LVAD system has parts that work inside and outside the body. Inside, a heart pump is attached to the left side of the heart. Outside, a controller, batteries and driveline help to power and control the heart pump.

HeartMate 3TM LVAD

why heart failure patients should know about lvads

Heart failure is a serious condition, and usually there’s no cure.2 However, an implanted heart pump, called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) can make a significant positive impact on the lives of advanced heart failure patients (Classes IIIB and IV).6,7 As LVAD technology continues to improve, so does the quality and quantity of life for LVAD patients. Many patients enjoy regaining a fulfilling life and in many cases even return to work.8

Although recognized as a viable treatment option, heart transplant is not always an option for all advanced heart failure patients. The supply of donor hearts is limited, and some patients may not qualify for a transplant due to other health issues. You may find it reassuring to know that there are thousands of people around the world with LVADs living active, productive lives. They are spending time with friends and family and doing the things they love.8 Read more...

image description
Heart failure is serious, but with the right treatment

you can lead an active life

Ron – Living well with Heart Mate 3TM LVAD since 2015

find a heartmateTM lvad advanced Heart Failure Center

HeartMate LVADs are available nationwide. To find a HeartMateTM LVAD center near you, click the button or call our information center, below.

Each testimonial relates an account of an individual's response to the treatment. The patient's account is genuine, typical and documented. However, it does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to the individual patient.


Rx Only
Brief Summary: Prior to using these devices, please review the Instructions For Use for a complete listing of indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, potential adverse events and directions for use.

HeartMate 3™ LVAS Indications: The HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System is indicated for providing short- and long-term mechanical circulatory support (e.g., as bridge to transplant or myocardial recovery, or destination therapy) in adult and pediatric patients with advanced refractory left ventricular heart failure and with an appropriate body surface area.

HeartMate II™ LVAS Indications: The HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System is indicated for use as a “bridge to transplantation” for cardiac transplant candidates who are at risk of imminent death from non-reversible left ventricle failure. It is also indicated for use in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class IIIB or IV end-stage left ventricular failure, who have received optimal medical therapy for at least 45 of the last 60 days, and who are not candidates for cardiac transplantation. The HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System is intended for use both inside and outside of the hospital, or for transportation of Left Ventricular Assist Device patients via ground ambulance, airplane, or helicopter.

HeartMate 3 and HeartMate II LVAS Contraindications: The HeartMate 3 and HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist Systems are contraindicated for patients who cannot tolerate, or who are allergic to, anticoagulation therapy.

HeartMate 3 and HeartMate II LVAS Adverse Events: Adverse events that may be associated with the use of the HeartMate 3 or HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System include, but are not limited to those listed below: death, bleeding, cardiac arrhythmia, localized infection, right heart failure, respiratory failure, device malfunctions, driveline infection, renal dysfunction, sepsis, stroke, other neurological event (not stroke-related), hepatic dysfunction, psychiatric episode, venous thromboembolism, hypertension, arterial non-central nervous system (CNS), thromboembolism, pericardial fluid collection, pump pocket or pseudo pump pocket infection, myocardial infarction, wound dehiscence, hemolysis (not associated with suspected device thrombosis) and pump thrombosis.


1. Causes and risks for heart failure. American Heart Association Web site. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/CausesAndRisksForHeartFailure/Causes-and-Risks-for-Heart-Failure_UCM_002046_Article.jsp#.WzKgZKdKjmE. Accessed October 25, 2018  2. What is heart failure? American Heart Association Web site. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/what-is-heart-failure. Accessed October 25, 2018.  3. Heart failure symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic Web site. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373142. Accessed October 25, 2018.  4. Warning signs of heart failure. American Heart Association Web site. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/warning-signs-of-heart-failure. Accessed October 25, 2018.  5. Classes of heart failure. American Heart Association Web site. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/what-is-heart-failure/classes-of-heart-failure. Accessed October 25, 2018.  6. McIlvennan C, Magid K, Ambardekar A, et al. Clinical Outcomes Following Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device: A Systematic Review. Circ Heart Fail. Oct 7 2014.  7. Mehra M, Goldstein D, Uriel N, et al. Two-Year Outcomes with a Magnetically Levitated Cardiac Pump in Heart Failure. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(15):1386-1395.  8. What is an LVAD? How does it work? MYLVAD Web site. https://www.mylvad.com/patients-caregivers/learn-about-lvads/intro-lvads/what-lvad-how-does-it-work. Accessed October 30, 2018.