Heart Failure Program
Award winning care and support to heart failure patients and their families
Southwest General has been awarded Heart Failure Certification by The Joint
Commission. This recognition is given to facilities that demonstrate high
quality care while following national standards and guidelines that can
significantly improve outcomes for heart failure patients.
Care and Education to Manage Heart Failure
An estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure.
The Congestive Heart Failure Program at Southwest General is there to help
patients and their families know that they are not alone in dealing with
this condition and that a support network is in place with information
and care when it is needed.
A Serious Condition You Can Live With
The term "heart failure" makes it sound like the heart is no
longer working at all and that there is nothing that can be done. In reality,
heart failure means that the heart is not pumping as well as it should
and with changes in lifestyle you can live a full and happy life.
Your body depends on the heart's pumping action to deliver oxygen and
nutrient-rich blood to the body's cells. When the cells are nourished
properly, the body can function normally. With heart failure, the weakened
heart can't supply the cells with enough blood. This results in fatigue
and shortness of breath. Everyday activities such as walking, climbing
stairs or carrying groceries can become very difficult.
The Congestive Heart Failure Program at Southwest General
Our Congestive Heart Failure Program is focused on letting patients know
about the risk factors that can influence their health. We work with our
patients to emphasize the fact that you can live with heart failure but
you need to be aware of the risk factors and how to reduce their effects.
Understanding these factors and how to deal with them is the core of our
educational program and our award-winning care is reflected in the compassionate
and thoughtful manner in which the information is presented.
Risk Factors that Can and Can’t Be Changed
Our program endeavors to help make sure that our patients and their families
understand the risk factors that can and can’t be changed. According
to American Heart Association these risk factors follow:
Risk factors you can’t change include:
Age. The older we get, the more prone we are to developing heart disease
Gender. Males are still at risk, but the women are catching up
Positive family history. Those with a family member who developed heart disease at age 55 or younger
are more prone to developing heart disease themselves
Risk factors you can change or modify include:
High blood pressure. Ideal blood pressure is less than 120/80
Diabetes. Keeping blood sugars under control lessens risks of heart disease
- High cholesterol
Smoking. Quitting can be difficult, but it is not impossible
Sedentary lifestyle. Maintaining an active lifestyle, helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol
and stress. It also helps you to lose weight.
We Look Forward to Helping You
A heart failure nurse clinician is available to answer health-related questions
or concerns at
Additionally, you can call Southwest General's Harrington Heart &
Vascular Institute's nurse practitioners 24 hours a day for FREE at