Munroe's Heart Failure Unit
In July 2012, Munroe opened the doors on its new Heart Failure Unit. Patients with the primary diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure are admitted to the Heart Failure Unit where they receive extensive patient education on their condition and Munroe's innovative treatment strategy.
Munroe's unique approach includes empowering patients with education during their hospital stay. Patients learn to take care of themselves through an understanding of the importance of exercise, weight management, and sodium/fluid restrictions. Munroe's dedicated and knowledgeable staff utilizes evidence-based therapies. By providing a comprehensive Heart Failure treatment across the continuum of care and collaborating with a variety of available resources in the community, the goal is to improve quality of life, reduce the incidence of congestive heart failure and, ultimately, eliminate the need for readmission to the hospital.
What is Heart Failure?
Heart Failure is very common and affects approximately 5.8 million Americans with approximately 670,000 new cases of heart failure diagnosed each year in the US. In 2006, Heart Failure was a contributing cause of death for over 280,000 people. Heart Failure, also known as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), is the term used when the heart’s muscle has become weakened and is unable to pump blood adequately to supply the body’s needs. It is a progressive condition and usually develops gradually over time. Many times symptoms do not appear for several years and even then, the symptoms are often confused with expected signs of aging.
Some causes may be:
- Heart muscle damage from a Heart Attack
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Valve disease
- Viral infections
- Enlarged heart
- Some chemotherapy medications for cancer
- Illicit drugs
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Congenital abnormalities
Signs and Symptoms:
- Shortness of breath, even during minimal activity.
- Difficulty breathing when lying flat.
- Sudden weight gain with swelling in the legs, ankles, abdomen or lower back.
- General to extreme fatigue and weakness.
- Persistent cough, with mucus or pink tinged sputum.
- Decreased appetite.
- Confusion or impaired thinking.
- Heart palpitations.
A person with heart failure should see their doctor regularly, take their medications exactly as directed, and follow their doctor’s instructions regarding diet and exercise, reporting any changes in condition. Strict adherence to a treatment plan will help the patient have a better quality of life and a longer life expectancy. If you think you may have heart failure, please contact your physician for an evaluation.