Congestive heart failure (CHF) is implicated in about 250,000 deaths each year, either as the primary cause or a contributing factor. About 550,000 new cases of CHF are diagnosed in the United States every year. Of these, about half will die from this condition within five years of diagnosis.
CHF occurs when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the needs of your body. A normal heart has a pumping capacity, technically known as an ejection fraction, of 50 to 60 percent. This is the percentage of blood pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat. With CHF, you might drop down to only 10 percent.
Causes of CHF can include coronary artery disease, chronic high blood pressure, alcohol or drug abuse, heart attacks, diabetes, infections, or defects in the heart valves.
Many of the causes can be treated or overcome. That’s why Providence Medical Center has a special Congestive Heart Failure Program.
What to Expect
The CHF program starts with a free class that discusses what heart failure is and how to recognize symptoms, healthy diet choices, exercise, medication management and coping with a chronic illness.
Providence staff will offer support with follow-up phone calls as you as you learn to live with CHF.
The CHF class is offered the second and fourth Monday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. at Providence Medical Center, in the Keenan Education Center.
Referral to Cardiologist for comprehensive evaluation and assessment. A cardiologist will determine the extent of your problem and what might be causing it. Then a treatment plan will be designed for you.
Resynchronization therapy. If your condition warrants, your physician (a surgeon or cardiologist) might implant a pacemaker or defibrillator to help you maintain a regular heart rhythm and to avoid sudden cardiac arrest by shocking your heart when it begins to beat erratically.
Education. We’ll help you and your family understand your condition and how to best care for yourself.
Exercise and diet. You’ll get diet plans that will help you lower your blood pressure and minimize strain on your heart.
Monitoring. You’ll learn how to monitor your condition to minimize unnecessary trips to the hospital or emergency room. In the Providence CHF Management Program, you will be provided with a scale to do daily weight information to monitor your fluid retention.
For more information on our Congestive Heart Failure Program, call 913-596-5030.