Heart Failure Program
Heart failure is quickly becoming the most pressing health problem in the United States. The most common cause of hospitalization in people over the age of 65, it affects over five million people in the United States, and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
It is a chronic disease that occurs due to the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. This can be caused by weakened heart muscle, heart valve problems, or elevated pressures inside the heart. Although you can’t reverse many conditions that lead to heart failure, it can often be treated with good results.
The Hendrick Heart Failure Program was established in 1998 with the motto, “Feel better, stay out of the hospital, live longer.” As the only Heart Failure Program in West Texas, we are designed specifically to care for the special needs of the heart failure population of Abilene and the surrounding areas. Our mission is to provide comprehensive outpatient disease management during all stages of heart failure. Through compliance with recommended guidelines, patient education, close patient follow-up and continuity-of-care, we strive to improve the quality of life of the heart failure patient.
The program is designed to supply stabilization and management of heart failure symptoms. We meet the ever-changing needs of the cardiac patient by providing routine monitoring and wellness visits, in addition to, and in between, your scheduled physician appointments. By following a disease management plan, our goal is to:
- Control the reoccurring symptoms like shortness of breath, swelling and fatigue that often accompany heart failure.
- Improve your quality of life and functional status at home.
- Decrease the frequency of your inpatient hospitalizations by staying ahead of the game.
- Shorten your stay, if you are hospitalized for heart failure.
- Educate you and your family about heart failure, treatments, medications and lifestyle changes giving you a more active role in your healthcare.
Heart Failure Signs and Symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue, tiredness, loss of energy
- Loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort
- Swollen ankles or legs
- Weight gain (two to three pounds over a few days)
There are, frequently, specific signs and symptoms of a heart attack that are fairly easy to recognize. These symptoms include:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest. The discomfort lasts for more than a few minutes, or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. This may include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath may occur with or before chest discomfort.
- Other symptoms may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness. Treatments are most effective when they occur in the early stages of chest pain.
The above-mentioned symptoms usually occur but occasionally patients experience other symptoms of a heart attack that are not as obvious or well known. Women, in particular, can experience symptoms that are harder to diagnose. These symptoms include:
- Upper abdominal pressure or discomfort
- Lower chest discomfort
- Back pain
- Unusual fatigue
- Unusual shortness of breath
To get started in the Heart Failure Program, we do require a referral from your physician. It does not have to be a cardiologist. Any physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner can refer you to this program. They simply have to call or fax us with your information.
1150 N. 18th Suite 400
Abilene, TX 79601
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.