Congestive heart failure management program at Northwest Hospital
Posted Apr 01 2009 2:44pm
Are you suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF)? The Northwest Hospital Congestive Heart Failure Management Program can help you manage your health so that you will feel better and improve your quality of life.
Heart failure is a common condition that usually develops slowly as the heart muscle weakens. The heart needs to work harder to keep blood flowing through your body. Heart failure develops after an injury to the heart, such as the damage caused by a heart attack, long-term high blood pressure or an abnormality to one of the heart valves. The weakened heart must work harder to keep up with the demands of the body, which is why people with heart failure often complain of feeling tired.
Heart failure symptoms can include:
Shortness of breath, even during mild activity
Difficulty breathing when lying down
Weight gain with swelling in the legs and ankles from fluid retention
General fatigue and weakness
Only your doctor can diagnose you with heart failure. When you visit your doctor, he or she should review your medical history and conduct a full physical examination.
CHF Management Program staff seek to prevent worsening of CHF symptoms. Patients determined to improve their quality of life, maintain adequate levels of physical activity and functional status and minimize hospital admissions and emergency room visits are ideal candidates.
Patient care at the Northwest Hospital CHF Program can include inpatient visits with patient and/or family as well as home visits by a registered nurse, who place follow-up telephone calls. Each patient has different needs, which are coordinated with the physician. Patients receive a “Survival Tool Kit” to maintain wellness.
You can expect to learn several things about congestive heart failure by enrolling in the Northwest Hospital Program. Patients are educated about the signs and symptoms of CHF and learn to monitor and report them. Medication usage is reviewed, and the importance of cutting salt from your diet is emphasized. Patients also are instructed on the importance of follow-up appointments and lifestyle modifications.
If you are under the care of a Northwest Hospital or a Sinai Hospital physician and would like to be a part of this free program, call 410-601-WELL (9355).