Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently throughout the body. Due to the inability of the heart to adequately pump blood, blood backs-up into the venous system (the veins of the body where blood is returning from the body to the heart). The blood which backs-up causes "congestion" in these organs.
This congestion is manifest by peripheral edema (limb swelling, usually in the legs), pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs, causes coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath), congestive hepatomegaly (liver damage due to backed-up blood in the liver), and jugular venous distention (swelling of the neck veins due to excess blood).
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