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Problem-based review: The patient with acute heart failure

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Acute heart failure is a common and potentially life threatening presentation to hospitals in the UK. Acute Physicians at the front door of the hospital will often be involved with the initial management of these patients. Despite its many underlying causes, certain general treatment principles exist. We present a typical clinical scenario followed by an overview of the pathophysiology and management of acute heart failure and cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. The aim is to cover a broad spectrum of therapies ranging from medical treatment up to invasive devices, thereby discussing the available options from the Emergency Department to the Intensive Care Unit.

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