There are several options for heart failure treatment

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest.

CPR involves chest compressions for adults between 5 cm (2.0 in) and 6 cm (2.4 in) deep and at a rate of at least 100 to 120 per minute. The rescuer may also provide artificial ventilation by either exhaling air into the subject’s mouth or nose (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) or using a device that pushes air into the subject’s lungs (mechanical ventilation). Current recommendations emphasize early and high-quality chest compressions over artificial ventilation; a simplified CPR method involving chest compressions is only recommended for untrained rescuers. In children, however, only doing compressions may result in worse outcomes, because in children the problem normally arises from a respiratory, rather than a cardiac problem. Chest compression to breathing ratios is set at 30 to 2 in adults.


Defibrillation is a technique used in emergency medicine to terminate ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia. It uses an electrical shock to reset the electrical state of the heart so that it may beat to a rhythm controlled by its natural pacemaker cells.


Doctors prescribe various anti-arrhythmic drugs for long-term therapy. Beta-blockers are the class of drugs most commonly used in the treatment of sudden cardiac shock. Other drugs may include calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) is a device implantable inside the body, able to perform cardioversion, defibrillation, and (in modern versions) pacing of the heart. The device is therefore capable of correcting most life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. The ICD is the first-line treatment and prophylactic therapy for patients at risk for sudden cardiac death due to ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Current devices can be programmed to detect abnormal heart rhythms and deliver therapy via programmable anti-tachycardia pacing in addition to low-energy and high-energy shocks.

  • Coronary angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty is a medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary (heart) artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. This procedure improves blood flow to the heart.

Back to Treatments