It looks like you are using an older version of Internet Explorer which is not supported. We advise that you update your browser to the latest version of Microsoft Edge, or consider using other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Diagnosis and treatment of heart failure1,2,3

How is heart failure diagnosed?

Doctors use a number of tools to diagnose heart failure, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Tracings
  • Scans of the heart
  • Thorough physical examinations

Blood tests show kidney and liver function, as well as changes in the heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test which measures the electrical activity of your heart. It shows whether the heart is beating too fast or too slow. It can also indicate heart problems that may have occurred in the past.

Echocardiogram is an ultrasound test. It scans the heart to see how efficiently it is pumping, its size, and the condition of the valves.

Understanding treatment

Treatments for heart failure are the first part of managing the disease. It is very important to talk to your doctor about available treatment options. He or she can help you if you are having trouble taking your medicines or understanding when and how to take them. In addition to talking to your doctor, here are some tips on taking medicines:

  • Know exactly what you’re taking and how often. Understand why you are taking it
  • Medicines can sometimes make you feel worse before they make you feel better. Don’t give up without talking to your doctor
  • You may have multiple medicines to take daily. This is okay. Don’t feel overwhelmed
  • Ensure you take your medication on time and as recommended 


Learn about more ways to help manage heart failure


  1. Heart failure patient education. Available at URL : 
    Accessed on 7th November 2016.
  2. Common tests for heart failure. Available at URL : 
    Accessed on 7th November 2016.
  3. Ponikowski P, et al. European Heart Journal (2016) 37, 2129–2200.

Related Content

Raising Heart Failure Awareness in Florence

We headed to Florence with our stunning LED heart to raise awareness of heart failure and collect your donated heartbeats. See highlights from the event by watching the video below.

You can also see this video on Youtube

Raising Heart Failure Awareness in Dublin

On European heart failure awareness day in May 2016, Keep It Pumping dropped into a shopping center in Dublin to raise awareness of heart failure. See how the day went by watching the video below.

You can also see this video on Youtube

Keep It Pumping supports American Heart Association walks

Keep It Pumping participated in 6 awareness walks in 2015. See how we provided heart-healthy education materials to all those involved.

Don’t fail your heart

Join us on a video journey about heart failure.

Putting our print on Italy

Keep It Pumping joined a special event in Rome, Italy. We teamed up with local artists to create a fun and innovative symbol of awareness. You can see pictures of the event on the Keep It Pumping Facebook page and watch a video of the event below.

Toy-brick heart stop: Basel

Novartis continued the toy-brick heart project at its campus in Basel for European Heart Failure Awareness Day. The heart sculpture took shape, brick by brick, all for heart failure awareness. Watch the video to learn more!