Heart failure is a condition where the heart doesn’t pump blood to the rest of your body the way it should. This means your organs and muscles don’t get enough oxygen to function properly.

When your heart doesn’t pump well, this can damage your organs and fluid can collect in your lungs. 

Heart failure affects around half a million Australian and is a common cause of presentation to hospital. There are many reasons patients can develop heart failure, ranging from heart attacks, high blood pressure, valve problems, recreational drugs and other heart muscle disease. 

Find out more about heart failure, including the symptoms, causes, types and management at the Heart Foundation.

What happens if you come to hospital with heart failure

While you are in hospital

If you are admitted to hospital with heart failure, a team of clinicians will diagnose and treat your condition. They will give you specific heart failure medications that you will continue to take after you are well enough to go home. 

You will be given education and advice about how to manage heart failure by a team of specialist heart failure nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists.

When you leave hospital

Once you are discharged, you will receive a phone call from our heart failure nurses to check on how you are feeling. You may receive a home visit, to continue your education and help you with your treatment plan. 

You and your GP will have the ability to contact our heart failure nurses, if you have any concern about your heart failure symptoms or treatments. 

In addition:

  • We can ask a nurse to visit you at home to assess you for additional treatments, if needed.
  • If you require support with other social services, we can refer you to the HARP community services, to help you at home.

Patients who have been admitted to the RMH with heart failure can be referred to our Heart Failure Cardiac Rehabilitation service. This can be held in person or via telehealth.

Find out more about our Heart Failure service.

Last updated 02 November 2022