Assessment in primary and community care

Assessment in primary and community care


Acute Heart Failure (AHF) refers to rapid or gradual onset of symptoms and/or signs of heart failure, severe enough for the patient to seek urgent medical attention.

Commonly leads to an unplanned hospital admission or an emergency department visit.

AHF is a leading cause of hospitalisations in subjects aged >65 years and is associated with high mortality and rehospitalisation rates.

In-hospital mortality ranges from 4% to 10%.

Post-discharge 1-year mortality can be 25-30% with up to more than 45% deaths or readmission rates.

  • Worsening shortness of breath or new shortness of breath at rest.
  • Reduced exercise tolerance/capacity
  • Fatigue
  • Increased pillows at night (orthopnoea) or frequent wakening due to cough or breathlessness (PND)
  • Confusion
  • Low BP
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Low oxygen saturations (compare with previous observations if available)
  • Increased weight of ≥2kgs in 3 days
  • Pulmonary congestion
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Pulmonary crepitations
  • Elevated JVP
  • Peripheral oedema
  • Oliguria

Not found what you need? Search here:

(c) British Society for Heart Failure, 2022-
BSH banner