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Heart Failure

Comprehensive Treatment for Heart Failure in Greater Cleveland

An estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with heart failure. Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working entirely. Rather, the term is used to describe a weakened heart that has a difficult time pumping adequate amounts of blood for the body.

A Serious Condition You Can Live With

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.

Heart failure is often caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or coronary artery disease. Not all patients with heart failure can be “cured,” but the condition and its symptoms can be managed with appropriate treatment and cardiac rehabilitation.

Award-winning Care and Education to Manage Heart Failure

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.The Congestive Heart Failure Program at Southwest General helps 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.

Our Program focuses on educating patients 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 helps patients and their families understand the Congestive Heart Failure risk factors that can and can’t be changed. According to the American Heart Association, these include:

Risk factors you can’t change:

  • 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:

  • High blood pressure. Ideal blood pressure is less than 120/80
  • Diabetes. Keeping blood sugar under control lessens the risk of heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • 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 can help 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 440-816-4388.

Additionally, you can call the Southwest General's Heart & Vascular Institute's FREE 24-hour critical care nurse support line at 877-SWG-BEAT (794-2328).