Mountain Lake

CLIMB HIGH. KNOW YOUR EF.

911 Can Save Your Life. So Can Knowing Your EF.
 

If your Ejection Fraction is...

50-75%

Your Heart's Pumping Ability Is

NORMAL

36-49%

Your Heart's Pumping Ability Is

BELOW NORMAL

35%&Below

Your Heart's Pumping Ability Is

LOW

What is EF?

EF means 'ejection fraction' and is one of the measurements used by your physician to assess how well your heart is functioning. Your EF is the percentage of the blood that is pumped out with every heartbeat. Knowing your ejection fraction can save your life because there are many treatment options

 

In a healthy heart, an EF of 50 to 75% is considered normal. An EF higher than 75% could suggest the presence of certain heart conditions, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. 

 

On the other hand, a low EF of 49% or less could be a sign that the heart is weakened. A low EF is an important risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition where the heart suddenly stops. Patients with low EF are more likely to experience symptoms such as fatigue and/or shortness of breath and have higher risks for SCA. 

 

Animation of the Heart Failure Explained (courtesy of health.sjm.com)

 

Why it's Important

What does your EF mean?

How to measure your EF

  • Knowing your EF allows your doctor to determine the best treatment options to maximize your survival benefits
     

  • A low EF puts you at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).Unfortunately, SCA often strikes without warning. SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes; taking more lives each year than breast or lung cancer.
     

  • A low EF can cause electrical problems in the heart, such as dangerously fast heart rhythms. 
     

  • Your EF can change, and even improve. Thus it is important to ask your doctor to track it over time.  

  • Normal is an EF of 50-75%

    • Your heart is pumping normally and can deliver adequate amounts of blood to the brain and body.
       

  • Below Normal is an  EF of 36-49%

    • ​Your heart may not be pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs.
       

  • Low is an EF of 35% or Below

    • ​This indicates a weakened heart muscle and increases risk for SCD or SCA 

  • EF is often measured using an echocardiogram. This is a noninvasive test that provides moving pictures of your heart in order to help the physician better visualize the pumping power (EF), structure, and valves of the heart. A cardiac ultrasound uses the same technology that allows physicians to see an unborn baby inside a pregnant mother.
     

  • You can schedule an echocardiogram at our office.
    >> Visit Heart Failure Clinic
     

  • Several other tests can be used. Your cardiologist will recommend a test that’s right for you.