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Medical Services

Heart Failure Program

About heart failure
Heart failure is a complex condition that can be difficult to live with. People living with heart failure can experience fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, and other symptoms that impair their quality of life. An individual's condition can change from one day to the next, and this makes it hard for patients and families to plan and adapt.

Mercy's heart failure treatment program is designed to:

  • Closely monitor the patient's health
  • Intervene early if problems arise
  • Help individuals improve their self-management skills

Each patient is evaluated individually and provided the most advanced and appropriate treatments possible. These treatments can be organized into three primary approaches:

  • Pharmacologic, that is, treating the conditions with medications.
  • Non-pharmacologic, referring to daily self-care strategies. Education and support can play an important role.
  • Device therapy. This may include an implantable pacemaker to maintain the heart's rhythm and efficiency, or the approach called ultrafiltration, which removes excess fluid from the body.

Treatments Available

  • Multidisciplinary team approach
  • Outpatient IV infusions
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Clinical Research Trials
  • Cardiac Transplant Evaluation
  • Post Transplant  follow-up

The health care professionals on the heart failure treatment team bring expertise from a variety of disciplines to provide complete and well-coordinated care. These include physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise therapists, social workers, and others.

Five Myths about Heart Failure

Myth No. 1: Heart failure is a sudden acute illness like a heart attack.
Fact: Heart failure is a lifelong illness with occasional worsening that often can be prevented.

Myth No. 2: Heart failure is a hopeless, uniformly terminal condition.
Fact: With proper therapy (medications, education, diet, etc.), many patients improve and do well for years.

Myth No. 3: Heart failure is rarely diagnosed.
Fact: Heart failure is the most common hospital discharge diagnosis for patients over the age of 65 and its incidence is increasing.

Myth No. 4: Early recognition and treatment don’t make any difference.
Fact: If started early, proper medication can slow or reverse the progress of heart failure and result in a better outcome.

Myth No. 5: A team approach to the heart failure patient is wasteful and unnecessary.
Fact: Heart failure is best treated by a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, dietitians, and others. This approach lowers costs and improves outcomes.

 

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