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Radiology Title

Patients in The Bellevue Hospital’s new Cardiac Rehabilitation program have the option of participating in the hospital’s Heart Failure Clinic within the Cardiac Rehab Department. The program combines combines education and follow-up care.

Heart failure is a common condition that usually develops slowly as the heart muscle weakens and needs to work harder to keep blood flowing through the body. Heart failure patients tend to be readmitted to hospitals quite frequently, and one of the goals is to keep them out of hospitals by helping them to understand and monitor their own condition. Heart failure affects more than 5 million people in the United States, with up to 700,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It is also the most common and expensive discharge diagnosis among hospital patients age 65 and older.

Heart failure can develop following an injury to the heart, such as heart attack, long-term high blood pressure, an abnormality of one of the heart valves, diabetes, enlargement of the heart, or a heart murmur. Warning signs of heart failure may include:

-      shortness of breath

-      weakness or tiredness with little effort

-      problems breathing while lying flat or a need to sleep in a recliner

-      waking up at night coughing or shortness of breath

-      rapid weight gain

-      swelling in the abdomen, ankles, or feet

-      confusion or trouble concentrating

-      racing or skipping heart

-      dizziness or fainting

The Heart Failure Clinic is a voluntary program that most insurance companies will cover. Topics covered during the educational process include causes of heart failure, tests to determine heart failure and what they mean, medications and their actions/side effects, monitoring weights daily and their importance in heart failure management, symptoms and what to do, activity & exercise, how to decrease fatigue, low sodium diet, emotions associated with heart failure, and smoking cessation.

The Bellevue Hospital’s Heart Failure Clinic is open Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, contact Hollie Alda at (419) 483-4040, Ext. 4303.

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