APPROACH CONSIDERATIONS: The management of congestive heart failure (CHF) is difficult and sometimes dangerous without knowledge of the underlying cause. Consequently, the first priority is acquiring a good understanding of the etiology. The goals of medical therapy for congestive heart failure include the following:
- Reducing the preload
- Enhancing cardiac contractility
- Reducing the afterload
- Improving oxygen delivery
- Enhancing nutrition
As previously discussed, the causes of congestive heart failure vary, and they appear in different patients to variable degrees. Thus, the medical management of congestive heart failure in children should be tailored to the specific details of each case.