WHY improve care for Heart Failure
Living with heart failure. Why having the right plan for are is important for people with heart failure. Heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital stays in the United States. The good news is that many of these hospital stays can be prevented. In the past, plans to improve care for heart failure and to lower the number of hospital stays have not been used as much as they should. A new trial called Connect-HF aims to fix that. So why is studying heart failure important, and how can people with heart failure stay out of the hospital? Let’s take a look.
Why Improve Care for heart failure?
Heart failure is the number one cause of hospital styas in people older than age 65. The United States faces 30 billion dollars each year in costs for heart failure care, including healthcare services, medications, and missed work.
Heart failure affects nearly 5.7 million adulsts in the United states. About 400,000 to 700,000 people find out they have heart failure each year. That’s a lot of people.
Heart failure is part of the reason for 1 in 9 deaths in America. 1 in r patients in the hospital due to heart failure are in the hospital again within 30 days.
The more times a patient stays in the hospital because of heart failure, the greater their risk is of dying from heart failure.
Even though it affects many people heart failure is often mistaken for other conditions, causing some patients to get an incorrect diagnosis.
Knowing the best way to manage care for people with heart failure may help them live longer or with fewer limitations on everyday life.
WHO is at Risk for Heart Failure
Who is at Risk for Heart Failure?
People at risk for heart failure include those who:
Have high blood pressure
Are living with diabetes
Abuse drugs or alcohol
Have an enlarged (bigger than normal) heart, or a family history of an enlarged heart
Have a history of heart disease or other heart defects
Have had a heart attack – A heart attack can damage the heart muscle
What are the signs and symptoms of heart failure?
People with heart failure, and their families, should be aware of the signs and symptoms that need medical attention.
Need to know what to look out for? These signs can signal first-time heart failure, or symptoms coming back in people already diagnosed with heart failure.
Shortness of breath (feeling like you can’t breathe)
Coughing or wheezing, especially after exercising or while lying down
Feeling sick to your stomach, or not hungry
Coughing up white or pink mucus with blood in it
Feeling tired all the time
Confusion, memory loss, or feeling disoriented
Weight gain or swelling, caused by extra fluid in the body.
Becoming weak or tired after everyday activities, such as climbing the stairs or walking
Fast heart beat
Managing Heart Failure
MANAGING Heart Failure There are a number of things that doctors, and patients themselves, can do to make this better. With the right education, lifestyle changes, and a good plan for care, people with heart failure may have a better chance to stay out of the hospital. 46% of people with heart failure feel that it is hard to get motivated to manage their lifestyle. What is the best way to manage heart failure and get back to the things in life that matter most? Create a care plan Consider these three forms of therapy when creating a care plan for heart failure. MEDICATION Doctors may prescribe different types of medications, depending on each person’s needs, and it is important to know which medications have been prescribed. People with heart failure should take their medications regularly, and follow all instructions. When taken correctly, medication for heart failure can help strengthen the heart and improve symptoms. 24% of return hospital stays for heart failure are because of not taking medications as ordered. An additional 16% are due to taking the wrong medication. DEVICES Doctors may recommend a device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) for some people with heart failure. The device is placed under the skin and gives an electric shock to the heart to correct the heartbeat, when needed. Though this therapy may not be right for all people with heart failure, it is important to know what it is, and whether or not it is an option. Tip: Some hospitals do not place ICDs very often. Patients can ask their regular cardiologist whether or not an ICD is an option for them. Exercise regularly Getting the right amount, and intensity, of exercise may help people with heart failure stay fit and well. Staying physically active is good for heart health. Just make sure that the exercise has been recommended by a doctor. Tip: Get started with exercise by taking leisurely walks. These can even be at a mall or a museum. Every little bit helps. Make healthy eating choices A change in diet can be a big factor in improving health, especially for people with heart failure. People with heart failure should limit salt intake, and should limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine. The best diet for people with heart failure should be low in sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat. 77% of the sodium Americans eat comes from processed and restaurant foods. Tip: Heart-healthy foods to eat: • Fish containing omega-3 (anchovies, salmon, mackeral, sardines, rainbow trout, etc.) • Lean meat • Nuts and legumes • A variety of colorful fruits and vegetables • Whole grains • Low-fat dairy products • Non-tropical vegetable oils (canola, corn, olive, etc.) LOWF AT LOWF AT LOWF AT 24% of return hospital stays for heart failure are due to not following diet instructions. Adjust lifestyle habits for better health Getting enough rest and quitting smoking are two things that can help improve the health of people with heart failure. Changing habits like these may seem difficult at first, but these small changes can make a huge difference. 85% of hospitals identified as leading centers for quality of care have smoking counseling as part of their program.
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