Lifestyle modification is a large factor in creating better outcomes for heart failure patients. But success also requires additional resources, support and education.
Kentucky ranks third among U.S. states with the highest death rates from heart failure.
That grim statistic is behind the work of Norton Heart & Vascular Institute and the Norton Healthcare Foundation to ensure our community has access to the care that is needed the most.
Heart Failure Is No Longer a Death Sentence
In the past, a diagnosis of heart failure typically meant making the patient comfortable while they were confined to home or, even worse, to bed. If patients were lucky, they would receive a heart transplant from a donor.
“Whether someone is in need of medication for mild heart failure or requires mechanical circulator support management, such as an LVAD [left ventricular assist device] or even a new heart, advancements in technology and medication are allowing them to live longer, fuller lives,” said Kelly C. McCants, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program.
The heart recovery program helps patients with new-onset heart failure recover using aggressive treatment coordinated with leading-edge monitoring. Each person gets a patient-centered, personalized approach to reversing or reducing heart-failure damage.
You Can Help Us Change the Future of Treating Heart Failure
Dr. McCants works with a team of advanced care providers with decades of experience working with heart failure patients. The latest in advanced heart failure monitoring technology allows the team to detect signs of reduced heart function before the patient feels any symptoms.
Traditionally, heart failure patients would contact their cardiologist once symptoms were apparent. But by then, the heart already has been damaged. By watching for early signs of heart failure symptoms, patients get better outcomes and quality of life.
The goal of the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program is to provide care without the patient having to spend an overnight in the hospital.
Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows nearly 118 of every 100,000 Kentuckians die each year of heart failure. Only Mississippi and Oklahoma are higher, while Indiana ranks seventh. The national average is just shy of 90.
Lifestyle modification is a large factor in creating better outcomes for heart-failure patients. But success also requires additional resources, support and education. These include:
- Nurse navigators to provide one-on-one education and management of complex care and to coordinate with other specialists
- Nutrition, exercise and case management support for patients
- Social work support for insurance management and financial assistance
- Funding of cutting-edge technology such as the ReDS System, a vest that detects water retention, a sign of poor heart function, before symptoms are felt and additional damage to the heart is sustained
- State-of-the-art facilities that promote a multidisciplinary approach and offer patients, who often have difficulty getting around, a one-stop destination for their heart failure care and support for lifestyle changes