Treating Chf In Louisiana
For patients suffering from CHF, skilled medical treatment is critical to managing the condition and maintaining health. Cardiovascular Institute of the South is home to many renowned and respected cardiologists. Our physicians are experienced and highly-qualified in the treatment of congestive heart failure, along with all other forms of cardiovascular disease. To request an appointment at any one of our locations across south Louisiana and Mississippi, click the button below.
How To Live Longer With Severe Congestive Heart Failure
When a patient has been diagnosed with an early stage of congestive heart failure, there are three main things they can do to slow the progression of the disease. First, they must begin an exercise program under the direction of their physician. They must also take steps to manage other chronic illnesses including high blood pressure and diabetes through diet, medication, and exercise. Finally, their doctor will likely prescribe medication to control their symptoms.
As a patient moves into Stage 3 of congestive heart failure, the support of palliative care in the home to help monitor and treat symptoms can be very helpful in continuing to slow disease progression.
Once a patient reaches Stage 4 of congestive heart failure, the focus turns to making sure the patient is comfortable in their final months. One common symptom of Stage 4 congestive heart failure is shortness of breath particularly in the evening. This symptom is always troubling for patients and their families. Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care partners with families to control this symptom in the home, avoiding unnecessary late night runs to the emergency room.
The progress of congestive heart failure varies greatly from one patient to the next based on the patients stage at diagnosis and the effect of other health conditions. The patients physician will work with them to determine the best care plan for their individual situation.
How To Live Longer With Heart Failure
Everything you need to know about the various stages of heart failure to live longer with the condition.
A congestive heart failure diagnosis doesnt mean your heart has stopped working, it means that your heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout your body.
Heart failure is a scary term, says , a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The condition can worsen if the proper steps arent taken to slow or halt the problem, but it does not mean your life is over.
Congestive heart failure, more simply known as heart failure, occurs when there’s a reduction in blood flow throughout the body because blood flow from the heart slows down. That means blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, causing congestion in the body’s tissues. That congestion may cause swelling in the ankles, legs, or stomach, as well as fluid in the lungs that causes trouble breathing.
Life expectancy with congestive heart failure varies depending on the severity of the condition, genetics, age, and other factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , around one-half of all people diagnosed with congestive heart failure will survive beyond five years. Only around 10 percent of people diagnosed with the condition survive at least 10 years, according to a study published in August 2013 in the journal Circulation Research.
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What Is The Importance Of Ejection Fraction
Your ejection fraction is one way to measure the severity of your condition. If its below normal, it can mean that you have heart failure. Your ejection fraction tells your healthcare provider how good of a job your left or right ventricle is doing at pumping blood. Usually, your EF number is talking about how much blood your left ventricle is pumping out because its your heart’s main pumping chamber.
Several non-invasive tests can measure your EF. With this information, your healthcare provider can decide how to treat you or find out if a treatment is working as it should.
A normal left ventricular ejection fraction is 53% to 70%. An LVEF of 65%, for example, means that 65% of the total amount of blood in your left ventricle is pumped out with each heartbeat. Your EF can go up and down, based on your heart condition and how well your treatment works.
Prognosis At Different Ages
In general, younger people diagnosed with CHF tend to have a better outlook than older people.
A report averaging several smaller studies found that people under age 65 generally had a 5-year survival rate of 78.8 percent following CHF diagnosis. The same report found that people over age 75 had an average 5-year survival rate of 49.5 percent following diagnosis.
Older people diagnosed with CHF may already have other chronic health conditions. This can make it difficult to manage CHF and create a more challenging outlook for them.
for congestive heart failure. The treatment thats best for you will depend on:
- your overall health
- any other health conditions you have
- how you respond to any medications
- what stage of CHF you have
Common options include:
There are lifestyle changes a person with CHF can make that have been shown to help slow the conditions progression. Talk with your doctor before making changes to your diet or starting an exercise routine.
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Get As Much Sun Exposure As You Can
Steps To Improve Life Expectancy With Congestive Heart Failure Get Sun Exposure
We all know now that this shores up your Vitamin D , which is now hailed by research study after research study as being cardio-protective . But thats not all. Exposure to the sun literally helps the blood flow! Dr. Cowan, following the research of Dr. Pollock and the other pioneers before him, notes that sunlight has the amazing ability to structure water . Could this be why people suffering from chronic illness, including heart disease, were asking to get some sun by doctors in the days gone by? In any case, once you take the precautions to not get sun-burnt, how could you possibly go wrong in getting sun exposure?
Acute Or Chronic Heart Failure
Heart failure can be acute or chronic.
Acute heart failure happens when either:
- symptoms come on suddenly
- it’s the first time the patient has had heart failure
- symptoms suddenly become worse during chronic heart failure.
Chronic heart failure is when someone’s heart failure develops gradually over time and is a long-term condition.
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How Long Can You Live With Severe Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a progressive condition that occurs when fluid collects around the heart, making it impossible for your heart to pump blood effectively. The first question patients diagnosed with this condition usually ask is how long can I live with severe congestive heart failure? The answer depends on what stage the patient is in at the time of diagnosis.
How Is Heart Failure Diagnosed
To make the diagnosis of Heart Failure the following should be done:
- Health History.
- Chest X-Rayto evaluate the size and shape of the heart and detect any fluid in the lungs.
- EKGto determine heart rhythm and search for previous heart damage or thickened heart muscle.
- Blood Test for BNPa hormone made when the heart is overworked.
- Measure Ejection Fraction to gauge effectiveness of the pumping action of the heart. The EF can be determined with an echocardiogram, nuclear scan or angiogram.
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Emotional Symptoms Towards The End Of Life
People with heart failure may experience different emotions and feelings. They may feel:
- up and down, with good days and bad days
- like they lack control over their life
- like its hard to cope with the reactions of others.
People may not think heart failure is as serious as other illnesses, such as cancer. Patients with heart failure can look well even when they feel very ill.
If a patient has anxiety or depression, their healthcare team will assess how it affects them and whether they need treatment, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or medication.
You can support the patient by providing emotional care and helping them with activities to make them feel better, such as reading, going outside and listening to music or audio books. Find out more about providing emotional care.
Hospice Care For Heart Disease Patients
If you are reading this, it is likely you or someone you love has been waging a difficult physical and emotional battle against heart failure or some form of heart disease. Your search for comfort, support and answers does not stop when you accept that you must learn to live with heart disease. Thats when VITAS can help.
Hospice helps patients and their families deal with the significant impact of heart disease after curative treatment has stopped. On this page, weve provided answers to these questions:
- When is the right time to ask about hospice?
- What can hospice do for a person with heart disease?
- What can hospice do for the family of a person with heart disease?
- What are the overall benefits of hospice care?
- How can I approach my hospice discussion with family members and loved ones?
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.
Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A& E department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms.
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Talk To Them About Their Symptoms
People with heart failure may feel worried about their symptoms, treatment or risk of dying suddenly. Reassure them by talking openly and honestly about their concerns. Speak to their cardiac or palliative care team if you need support. If the patient has a plan for managing symptoms or emergencies, they may feel less anxious.
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How To Use The Congestive Heart Failure Life Expectancy Calculator
To find a person’s survival odds with our heart failure life expectancy calculator, you’ll need the exact values of:
- The age of the patient
- The patient’s weight/height, or BMI
- Their creatinine levels – creatinine is a product of the muscles’ metabolism. It is found at increased levels when the kidneys do not work properly
- Ejection Fraction – the amount of blood that is pushed out of the heart during systole, out of the total amount of blood in the heart and
- Systolic blood pressure – the larger value of the blood pressure measurement made during a routine blood pressure check-up, given in mmHg.
In addition, you need to answer the following questions:
Top Tips For Caring For Someone Who Needs Help Eating:
- Face the person so they can see you and their food.
- If the person normally wears glasses or hearing aids, help them to put them on. This will help them to see what youre doing and to hear what youre saying.
- Offer smaller meals or portions that dont overwhelm the person.
- Let the person eat slowly. Allow plenty of time for them to chew their food and swallow it. They might need to catch their breath before each mouthful.
- Watch for clues to help you tell when they have finished swallowing. If its hard to tell, ask the person if theyve finished or to open their mouth to see if there is any food left inside.
- For drinks, use a wide cup or glass, so the drinker doesnt have to tilt their head back. You could also use a straw, for cold drinks.
- Dont rush the meal. This could increase the risk of food entering the persons airways.
- Look out for signs of tiredness. If the person is getting sleepy, it is best for them to stop eating even if they havent finished their meal. This is because people are more likely to cough or choke on food.
- If possible, try and make sure the person waits at least 15 minutes before going back to bed or lying down. This reduces the chances of food and drink coming back up the throat and causing them to choke.
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How Can Heart Failure Affect People Towards The End Of Life
At any stage of someones illness, heart failure can have a significant psychological impact on a person. People experience different emotions, including anger, sadness and worry. Life may feel very up and down, with good days and bad days. People can feel low about their symptoms and limitations, or they may feel that they lack control over their life. It can be particularly shocking for someone if they have been told their outlook is poor.
Symptoms can fluctuate at the advanced stage of heart failure, making it hard to estimate prognosis . This can make it difficult to know how and when to discuss the future and find out how someone would like to be cared for at the end of their life.
People with heart failure are more likely to have renal failure. Renal failure can make prescribing certain medications difficult which can, lead to more symptoms and discomfort.
Support Them To Make Decisions About Treatments
As well as having an advance care plan, patients should be given the chance to discuss the following issues:
- Whether to deactivate an implantable cardioverter defibrillator , if they have one. This can prevent the ICD activating at the end of life, which can be distressing.
- What the patient would want to happen if they had a cardiac arrest. They may decide they do not want to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation .
- When to stop medication that no longer reduces symptoms or improves their quality of life. This can be a difficult conversation and it’s best carried out sooner rather than later. Make sure the patient and the people important to them understand what changes are being made to their medication and why.
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Section I: Cancer Diagnoses
Note: Certain cancers with poor prognoses may be hospice eligible without fulfilling the other criteria in this section.
What’s The Systolic Heart Failure Life Expectancy
Systolic heart failure is an insufficiency of a heart caused by the malfunction of its left ventricle. This kind of HF is characterized by a low ejection fraction , also taken into account in this heart failure life expectancy calculator.
EF is given in percent, and should be equal to around 50-70%. Mortality increases as the ejection fraction value . The smaller the EF, the shorter the estimated survival.
Unfortunately, plenty of studies proved that the mortality in patients with systolic heart failure and low EF is higher than in those with preserved EF.
For example: 1 year mortality rate for low EF = 26%, and for the high EF = 22%.
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Can You Get Better After A Diagnosis Of Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition, which means it gets worse with time. But even though it doesnt necessarily get better, managing heart failure the right way can help reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the condition.
I try to get patients to understand that this is not a death sentence, Mountis says.
Depending on the stage and severity of condition, some individuals may need more aggressive treatment, Mountis adds. But it is very possible to live a very good life with a diagnosis of heart failure.
Drink The Purest Mineral
For our blood to be nourishing and pure, the water we drink needs to be free of impurities and chemicals like fluoride. Several Reverse Osmosis filters that do this job unfortunately also remove vital minerals from the water, so we need to re-mineralize our water. Structuring the water sounds exotic, but simply involves making sure the water passes through a filter that helps form a vortex or spiral that literally makes the water come back to life, as if it were from a natural spring.
Dr. Gerald Pollack, over at University of Washington has discovered that when blood is structured in this way, it packs all the essential nutrition safely and helps the blood flow efficiently. You can see his amazing explanation of why water is so critical to human life and heart health here. If you live in the U.S., you can find more information on how to transform your ordinary tap water into a living, heart-health supporting liquid here.
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For Patients Speaking To Families
- Education is key. Educate yourself first. By now, youve probably done some research online. It may be helpful to read and share our Hospice Family Discussion Guide. This discussion guide is a tool for you to print out and use in a family discussion.
- Determine what your family members know. Before bringing up hospice, make sure your family members and caregivers have a clear understanding of your health status. People handle difficult information in different ways. If family members do not accept or understand your prognosis, ask your physician, clergy, a VITAS social worker or a trusted friend to speak with them on your behalf.
- Discuss your goals for the future, as well as theirs. As a patient, your greatest concern might be to live without pain, to stay at home or not to be a burden. Ask your family members/caregivers about their concerns as they consider the coming days, weeks and months. Explain that hospice is not giving up. It is an active choice to ensure that everyones needs are met.
- Take initiative. Remember, its up to you to express your wishes. Sometimes, out of concern for your feelings, your family or loved ones might be reluctant to raise the issue of hospice care for you.