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- speak to our cardiac nurses by phone, callback, email or online chat on Heart Helpline
- contact us to talk to our customer care advisors, find your local BHF shop and for any comments, compliments and complaints you may have
- sign up to our Heart Matters magazine for online information packed with health and lifestyle advice
- visit the Pumping Marvellous website, for heart failure patients
- get support if you are caring for someone with heart failure.
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What Makes Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Congestive Heart Failure Unique
Yale Medicines team comprises heart failure cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, dedicated advanced-practice, registered nurses and nurse coordinators, dietitians, exercise physiologists, financial counselors, immunologists specializing in transplants, psychologists, and specialists in palliative care.
With a multidisciplinary approach, Yale Medicine physicians include the patients desires as well as input from the family to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that’s right for them.
What Are The Treatments For Heart Failure
Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and how serious it is. There’s no cure for heart failure. But treatment can help you live longer with fewer symptoms.
Even with treatment, heart failure usually gets worse over time, so you’ll likely need treatment for the rest of your life.
Most treatment plans include:
You may need heart surgery if:
- You have a congenital heart defect or damage to your heart that can be fixed.
- The left side of your heart is getting weaker and putting a device in your chest could help. Devices include:
- A biventricular pacemaker .
- A mechanical heart pump or a total artificial heart).
As part of your treatment, you’ll need to pay close attention to your symptoms, because heart failure can worsen suddenly. Your provider may suggest a cardiac rehabilitation program to help you learn how to manage your condition.
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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.
Heart Failure Treatment For Heart Disease Patients Is Usually A Combination Of Lifestyle Choice Changes And Prescribed Medication
Treatment for heart failure is usually a combination of lifestyle choice changes and prescribed medication. Medications are prescribed based on the type of heart muscle failure and severity. Common medications include Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, Beta-blockers: , diuretics, and Mineralocorticoid/aldosterone receptor antagonists . Individuals with heart failure find themselves on a variety of drugs to ensure that the heart muscle failure doesnt worsen and prevent normal daily functioning
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Who Does Pulmonary Hypertension Affect
Pulmonary hypertension can affect adults at any age. It commonly affects people who have heart or lung conditions. Its also more common among people with other medical conditions. PH affects:
- Nearly 100% of people with severe mitral valve disease.
- About 65% of people with aortic valve disease.
- Up to 30% of people with scleroderma.
- About 20% to 40% of people with sickle cell disease.
- About 1 in 200 people with HIV.
PH usually affects adults. But rarely, it can affect newborns. This is called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn . Infants with this condition may need treatment in the intensive care unit.
What Is The Outlook With Heart Failure
With the right care, congestive heart failure wont stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis, or outlook for the future, will depend on:
- How well your heart muscle is working.
- How well you respond to your treatment plan.
- How well you follow your treatment plan.
One study says that people with heart failure have a life span 10 years shorter than those who dont have heart failure. Another study showed that the survival rates of people with chronic heart failure were 80% to 90% for one year, but that dropped to 50% to 60% for year five and down to 30% for 10 years.
A different study found that people who had heart failure and were discharged from the hospital had expected life spans ranging from three to 20 years, depending on various factors like age and gender. Its important to look at your specific situation when considering your prognosis.
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What Are The Stages Of Pulmonary Hypertension
There are four main stages of pulmonary hypertension. The World Health Organization calls these functional classes. Theyre based on the symptoms you feel and refer to how well you can carry out your daily activities. As PH gets worse, the symptoms become more noticeable and more disruptive to your daily life.
- Class 1: You dont have any symptoms.
- Class 2: You dont have symptoms when youre resting. But you feel some discomfort or shortness of breath during some routine activities. These include household chores and climbing stairs.
- Class 3: You may still feel fine when youre resting. But its now much harder to do normal tasks because you feel tired or short of breath.
- Class 4: You have symptoms even when youre resting. The symptoms get worse when you try to do any normal task.
Diagnosis Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
While a cage-side echocardiogram can provide support for a diagnosis of CHF if needed, the stress of a full echocardiogram could further decompensate the patient without providing additional information.
Thoracic radiographs often confirm the diagnosis of left-sided CHF but should be postponed if the patient is unstable . Radiographic cardiomegaly can be documented, and the presence of an interstitial/alveolar pattern centered on the perihilar region, consistent with pulmonary edema, confirms the diagnosis of CHF. While dilated pulmonary veins can be suggestive of left heart failure, in acute cases, it is not uncommon for these to be normal in size.
FIGURE 1. Lateral and dorsoventral thoracic radiographs of an 8-year-old Doberman pinscher with DCM in CHF. Note the cardiomegaly with a straightened caudal border, prominent left atrium, and tracheal elevation. There is a diffuse alveolar/interstitial pattern in the lung fields with air bronchograms and dilated pulmonary veins.
The clinical signs and history can also help in increasing the clinical suspicion of CHF. Sympathetic stimulation associated with heart failure should cause tachycardia, while cough and crackles are nonspecific signs.
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Prevent Congestive Heart Failure And Heart Disease Through A Balanced Diet
Good lifestyle choices can prevent the onset of heart failure or help mitigate the symptoms for patients with chronic heart failure. Alcohol and tobacco use is a significant risk factor that results in arterial damage. Limiting this, including even secondhand smoke, goes a long way in avoiding congestive heart failure. Prototypical heart-healthy foods and a balanced diet can supplement the limiting of vices. Some of these foods include lean protein , fruits and vegetables, foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium, and good fats like olive oil, fish, and avocados.
Learn to manage your lifestyle
Managing and monitoring your weight through a good diet and regular exercise is critical for maintaining good heart health. Finally, in instances where individuals have conditions that weaken the heart, it is important that they adhere to their existing treatment program. Treating underlying risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure has been shown to prevent heart attacks and coronary artery disease two of the primary drivers of heart failure.
What Causes Congestive Heart Failure
Several factors can cause congestive heart failure. They include:
- Presence of other diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Addictions like smoking and alcohol
Although heart failure is a serious condition, it does not mean that the heart stops functioning altogether. With proper management, persons who have congestive heart failure can lead nearly normal lives, depending on its severity. Besides the required medical and surgical interventions, it is important to eat healthy, stay active as possible, and refrain from alcohol, smoking, and drug abuse. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , almost half of the patients with congestive heart failure live beyond 5 years.
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What Are The First Symptoms Of Pulmonary Hypertension
The first symptom of pulmonary hypertension is shortness of breath during your daily activities. These may include climbing stairs or grocery shopping. You may also feel short of breath when you exercise.
At the start of pulmonary hypertension, you may not have any symptoms. When you do start to notice symptoms, they may be mild. But PH symptoms get worse over time, making it harder for you to do your usual activities.
Treatment And Medication Options For Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure is a chronic condition, and there is no cure. However, once youve been diagnosed, there are several things you can do to treat the condition and manage it so that it does not progress. Chief among them are lifestyle changes. That includes exercising and maintaining a heart-healthy diet thats low in saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol.
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How Does Heart Failure Affect The Quality Of Life And Lifestyle
With the right care and treatment plan, many adults still enjoy life even though heart failure limits their activities. How well you feel depends on:
- How well your heart muscle is working.
- How well you respond to your treatment plan.
- How well you follow your treatment plan.
This includes caring for yourself by:
- Taking your medications.
What Medications Should I Avoid If I Have Heart Failure
There are several different types of medications that are best avoided in those with heart failure including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or Aleve. For relief of aches, pains, or fever take Tylenol instead.
- Most calcium channel blockers
- Some nutritional supplements, such as salt substitutes, and growth hormone therapies
- Antacids that contain sodium
If youâre taking any of these drugs, discuss them with your doctor.
Itâs important to know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and how often and at what times you take them. Keep a list of your medications and bring them with you to each of your doctor visits. Never stop taking your medications without discussing it with your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, your medications decrease the work of your heart so that it can pump more effectively.
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How Is Heart Failure Treated
Your treatment will depend on the type of heart failure you have and, in part, what caused it. Medications and lifestyle behaviors are part of every treatment plan. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment is the same, regardless of gender.
As heart failure gets worse, your heart muscle pumps less blood to your organs, and you move toward the next stage of heart failure. Since you cant move backward through the heart failure stages, the goal of treatment is to keep you from moving forward through the stages or to slow down the progression of your heart failure.
Stage A treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage A heart failure includes:
- Regular exercise, being active, walking every day.
- Stopping the use of tobacco products.
- Treatment for high blood pressure .
- Treatment for high cholesterol.
- Not drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker if you have coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular or cardiac conditions.
- Beta-blocker if you have high blood pressure.
Stage B treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage B heart failure includes:
Stage C treatment
The usual treatment plan for people with Stage C HF-rEF includes:
If the treatment causes your symptoms to get better or stop, you still need to continue treatment to slow the progression to Stage D.
Stage D treatment
Treatments For Heart Failure
Treatment for heart failure usually aims to control the symptoms for as long as possible and slow down the progression of the condition.
How you’re treated will depend on what is causing your heart failure.
Common treatments include:
- lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and stopping smoking
- medicine a range of medicines can help many people need to take 2 or 3 different types
- devices implanted in your chest these can help control your heart rhythm
- surgery such as a or a heart transplant
Treatment will usually be needed for life.
A cure may be possible when heart failure has a treatable cause. For example, if your heart valves are damaged, replacing or repairing them may cure the condition.
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From Our Health Library At Upmccom
- Destination therapy
Bridge to transplantation
Each year, more people with end-stage heart failure are evaluated and listed for transplantation. Unfortunately, there are not enough suitable donor organs for all of the patients waiting for a heart transplant.
People who are listed for heart transplantation and are too ill to wait any longer, or are expected to have prolonged wait times, are referred for a VAD as a bridge to transplantation. The VAD allows them to recover and wait at home for an organ to become available.
Bridge to recovery
In some cases of heart failure particularly newly diagnosed CHF or heart failure after other cardiac surgery the heart may recover after a period of support on a VAD. These patients are supported temporarily as a bridge to recovery.
After implantation, the VAD is turned down and the heart is reassessed to see if its function has improved enough to allow the VAD to be removed.
Typically, people recommended for VAD as a bridge to recovery have CHF as a result of:
- Viral infection
- Another cause of heart disease that has not responded to medical therapy
What Can I Expect If I Have Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Most people who have a sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital dont survive. This is usually because they dont get help in time. Most cases of sudden cardiac arrest that dont happen in a hospital take place at home. Every minute that you dont receive help is another minute your brain is without the oxygen it needs.
People who survive sudden cardiac arrest have a varied outlook, depending on how fast they received medical treatment. They usually need help regaining skills they had before their sudden cardiac arrest. This happens because you can have brain damage if too many minutes pass without oxygen reaching your brain. Other organs may also be affected, including resulting in kidney failure, liver failure and long-term heart disease.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Failure
The symptoms of heart failure depend on which side of your heart is affected and how serious your condition has become. Most symptoms are caused by reduced blood flow to your organs and fluid buildup in your body.
Fluid buildup happens because the flow of blood through your heart is too slow. As a result, blood backs up in the vessels that return the blood to your heart. Fluid may leak from the blood vessels and collect in the tissues of your body, causing swelling and other problems.
Symptoms of heart failure may include:
- Feeling short of breath when you do things like climbing stairs. This may be one of the first symptoms you notice.
- Fatigue or weakness even after rest.
Heart Failure Management Programs
Attending a specialised program for people with heart failure can reduce the risk of complications and having to go to hospital. Going to a program can also help you live longer and improve your quality of life.
Heart failure programs, sometimes called chronic disease management programs, are run by health professionals who work as a team to help you manage your condition. The team can include a heart failure nurse, a cardiologist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, dietitian or a psychologist.
When you attend a heart failure management program, youll get information to help you manage your condition. This can include:
- how to manage your heart failure medicines
- when to act if your symptoms get worse
- how to monitor your fluid levels and salt intake
If you have heart failure and havent been referred to a heart failure management program, ask your doctor to help you enrol. Some services are now available from your own home using telephone and internet services.
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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.
What Medications Treat Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary vasodilators are medications that treat PAH and CTEPH. They cant be used for other types of PH, including those caused by underlying heart or lung issues.
Pulmonary vasodilators help your pulmonary arteries relax. This lowers blood pressure and eases the load on the right side of your heart.
People with PH may take a variety of other medications based on their underlying conditions.
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