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July 2010 | 0 Comments | Print

Heart Failure: From detection to recovery

More than five million Americans have suffered from heart failure. It is the fastest growing disease in cardiology with over half a million new cases diagnosed each year. It occurs when one of a variety of causes weakens the heart so it can no longer adequately pump the blood the body requires.

Recognizing heart failure

Heart failure is typically caused by either a heart attack or a viral infection. Other less common causes include untreated high blood pressure or a diseased heart valve.  Some of the more common warning signs of heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially when you exert yourself
  • Leg or abdominal swelling
  • Fatigue.

Since these symptoms are not always specific to heart failure, patients may mistake them for a less serious problem. Sometimes patients may not experience any symptoms at all. If you think you may be experiencing heart failure you should seek immediate medical attention.

Treatments

The treatment of heart failure continues to evolve. Options that were uncommon just a few years ago are readily available today. Procedures for treatment can be complicated and may require a heart failure specialist for proper management. Some treatment options are:

  • Medication therapy
  • Ultrafiltration-a device therapy that filters water and sodium from the blood, available for both inpatients and outpatients
  • Mechanical assist devices- a device that assists hearts too weak to pump blood effectively.
Your center for care

The Carl H. & Edyth Lindner Heart Failure Treatment Center at The Christ Hospital is the only center in the U.S. to be accredited by the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium and The Joint Commission. A unique center for treatment of patients with heart failure, this 28-bed unit offers state-of-the-art care.

The Lindner Heart Failure Treatment Center has three dedicated cardiologists who implement the best practice guidelines for care, as well as cutting-edge technologies for treatment of heart failure patients. Before hospital discharge, the patient, family and caregiver will receive education on medications, disease state, exercise, rehabilitation and support groups. The Heart Link Program at The Christ Hospital is a unique tool to help patients transition from the hospital to home.

For more information about the Heart Failure Treatment Center, please call 877-904-4YOU or visit www.TheChristHospital.com.

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