The South Denver Cardiology Transitional Heart Failure Clinic, in Littleton, specializes in providing treatment and therapy to prevent patients diagnosed with heart failure from more hospitalizations, and in helping to not only improve quality of life but also extend life.
Clinic Director and interventional cardiologist Ira Dauber, M.D. of the South Denver Cardiology Associates, describes heart failure as a “sneaky” condition that can really impact a person’s quality of life. At the Transitional Heart Failure Clinic, Dauber said the goal is to work towards transitioning a patient back to wellness.
“We ultimately want patients to feel better,” he said. “Heart failure isn’t something that is going away, but through an individualized treatment plan, we improve quality of life in our patients. Heart failure care at the South Denver Cardiology starts with optimal guideline determined medical therapy”
Heart failure means the heart is no longer pumping blood through the body as well as it should be. As the heart’s pumping action weakens, blood backs up into the blood vessels around the lungs and causes seepage into the lungs. The fluid causes congestion and makes it hard to breathe. Many people with heart failure also have swollen legs and feet.
Treating patients at the heart failure clinic is an all-inclusive plan. Dauber explained that it’s not about talking to a patient and making decisions only during scheduled appointments. Dauber said with nurse practitioners, a full staff and technology – care is constant.
“We are in constant contact with our patients. We are constantly ahead of sickness,” Dauber said. “We don’t want to sit around and wait for a relapse or hospitalization. We don’t want to wait for some scheduled appointment to make needed adjustments. We want patients to be aware of their own symptoms and communicate with us at all times.”
It’s important to understand that it’s not just up to the doctors to manage heart failure. In a transitional program, the patient is just as responsible for monitoring, communicating and making life-changing adjustments. Dauber said that’s another aspect of success at the clinic.
“Heart failure management is very much patient-centered,” he said. “We educate patients on their role in managing their health and quality of life. They have to really focus on fluid and diet management. Patient recognition and communication are important.”
While heart failure isn’t curable for most cases, it can be brought under control with work and collaboration. Patients should:
•Take all medication as ordered
•Follow a low-sodium diet
•Stay as physically active as possible
•Lose weight if needed
•Drink alcohol sparingly
To help patients manage heart failure, South Denver Cardiology uses the Heart Failure Storylines App, which provides information and services they need to keep their health balanced. The app is ranked as one of the nation’s top four apps in reducing re-admission to the hospital and in self-management.
Dauber said taking treatment options and care a step further, South Denver Cardiology is also constantly involved in studies and trial programs, including the utilization of the FDA-approved CardioMEMS HF System, which is a battery-free sensor that is implanted into the distal pulmonary artery to continuously measure the heart rate along with systolic, diastolic and mean pressures.
The implant is delivered using a matching vascular catheter and readings from the implant are gathered by a bedside electronics unit that also wirelessly powers the implant. The data is transmitted to an online portal where the patient’s cardiologist can check the readings.
“Technology such as the CardioMEMS HF gives us another advantage,” Dauber said. “Why wait for trouble to approach when we can get ahead of it. We have used the device with success in our patients. That is part of the art of heart failure care in terms of preventing symptoms for which patients are at risk even when they are doing well on optimal medical therapy.”
For more information on heart failure and the clinic’s services, visit the website at https://www.southdenver.com/transitional-heart-failure-clinic/.
Learn more about South Denver Cardiology Associates and the South Denver Heart Center by visiting the website at https://www.southdenver.com/. Likes us on Facebook and Subscribe to us on YouTube.
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