From the Winter 2017 issue of AtlanticView:
Heart failure is a growing public health challenge worldwide. Nearly six million individuals are currently living with heart failure, and one in five Americans will develop it over the course of their lifetime.
It’s a serious condition, and usually there's no cure. A normal healthy heart can pump blood to the body to meet even strenuous demands. Circulating blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and removes waste products. A weakened heart muscle has difficulty performing this task, which leads to fluid (water) back-up in the lungs and other parts of the body such as the feet, ankles, legs, hands and abdomen.
Fluid retention then makes pumping even more difficult. The body needs blood constantly pumped through it, carrying oxygen and other nutrients to bones, nerves and organs. With heart failure, the weakened heart can't supply the cells with enough blood. This results in fatigue and shortness of breath and some people have coughing.
The good news is that many of the heart failure hospitalizations that occur each year can be prevented with early evaluation and care. Chilton Medical Center is taking a positive approach to heart failure by offering The Heart Success Program, a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient program designed to provide specialized heart care for patients with advanced heart failure, cardiomyopathies and pulmonary hypertension. It provides a specialized team of nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, social workers and pharmacists with oversight by heart failure certified physicians.
Heart patients receive intensive education focusing on techniques for self-care management, telemanagement, access to cutting-edge research and state-of-the- art diagnostic testing.
The Heart Success Program at Chilton Medical Center is available to anyone diagnosed with heart failure. The program offers education on medications and nutrition, working in collaboration with a patient’s doctor.
For more information, please call 973-831-5466.