When to Call a Doctor
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
- Symptoms of
Reference sudden heart failure Opens New Window, such as:
- Severe shortness of breath (trouble getting a breath even when resting).
- Suddenly getting an irregular heartbeat that lasts for a while, or getting a very fast heartbeat along with dizziness, nausea, or fainting.
- Foamy, pink mucus with a cough and shortness of breath.
- Symptoms of a Reference heart attack Opens New Window, such as:
- Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.
- Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
- A fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Symptoms of a
Reference stroke Opens New Window. These include:
- Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
- Sudden vision changes.
- Sudden trouble speaking.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
- A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
Call your doctor right away if you have a pacemaker or ICD and think you have an infection near the device. Signs of an infection include:
- Changes in the skin around your pacemaker or ICD, such as:
- Fever not caused by the flu or another illness.
Call your doctor soon if you have symptoms of Reference heart failure Opens New Window, which include:
- Being very tired or having weakness that prevents you from doing your usual activities.
- Having breathing problems such as:
- Trouble breathing during routine activities or exercise that did not cause problems before.
- Sudden shortness of breath, even if it is mild.
- Shortness of breath when you lie down.
- Waking up at night with shortness of breath or feeling as though you are suffocating.
- A dry, hacking cough, especially when you lie down.
- Sudden weight gain, such as 3 lb (1.4 kg) or more in 2 to 3 days.
- Increased fluid buildup in your body (most often in the legs).
Call your doctor soon if:
- Your heart failure symptoms get worse.
- You have a sudden change in symptoms.
- You're having trouble keeping even minor symptoms under control.
Who to see
Many different Reference types of doctors and nurses can treat you for heart failure, including your family doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
- Topic Overview
- Health Tools
- What Increases Your Risk
- When to Call a Doctor
- Exams and Tests
- Treatment Overview
- Living With Heart Failure
- Coping With Your Feelings
- Other Treatment
- End-of-Life Decisions
- Other Places To Get Help
- Related Information