Reduced pumping of the heart produces many problems for the body as a whole. There is reduced blood supply to all the vital organs like brain, lungs, kidney. There are two main mechanisms of death - one is by pump failure when the blood returning from the lungs after oxygenation cannot be pumped out to various organs and blood jams back into the lungs and floods the airspaces causing severe breathing difficulty, pink, frothy sputum. The second major cause is due to abnormal rhythms of the heart like ventricular fibrillation
, ventricular tachycardia
, all of which can be lethal.
An intra-aortic balloon pump can support the heart for some time; but if the pumping does not improve (ie. if there are no reversible causes), then it is very difficult.
It is probably fortunate that he had sudden death, for leading a life with chronic heart failure
can often be very painful and distressing.
are both risk factors for heart failure, and if there has been coronary artery disease or past heart attacks, they too worsen the heart function.
More practically, it is now essential that you and your brothers and sisters should get evaluated for sugar, bp, cholesterol
and renal function and take preventive steps, as needed.