The effective diagnosis of heart failure
Heart failure is a complex clinical syndrome, characterised by symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue, reduced exercise tolerance and fluid retention. Signs and
symptoms may be non-specific or difficult to elicit, and some primary healthcare professionals continue to lack confidence in their ability to identify patients with HF.
A systematic approach to history-taking, examination and referral aims to help improve the accuracy of the diagnosis and ensure that HF patients are referred for specialist assessment and receive evidence-based therapies.