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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
THE ACUTE CARDIAC PATIENT SMART 2002 Milan, May 29-31, 2002
Minerva Anestesiologica 2002 April;68(4):196-200
Management of acute heart failure
Webb A. R.
From the UCL Hospitals, Trust Headquarters, London
Acute heart failure may be defined as the failure of the circulation to supply the demands of metabolising tissues due to acute cardiac dysfunction. First aid measures aimed at reducing symptomatology should be chosen with respect to their ability to improve cardiac function. The use of diuretics in acute heart failure does not sit well with the principle of improving cardiac function whereas the use of vasodilators does. As with any circulatory disturbance treatment must be guided by appropriate monitoring and the demands of metabolizing tissues must be reduced. Inotropes should be reserved for severe cases where other treatments have failed. This is to avoid the increased myocardial oxygen demand as a result of inotrope use.