Heart failure is a common occurrence in Israel and around the world. It occurs when the heart does not function in accordance with the body’s needs. Heart disorders such as cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction affect the heart’s functioning and cause heart failure. Sometimes the illness appears without any apparent reason. Heart failure largely manifests itself in breathlessness, stress, edemas and weakness.
The number of people suffering from heart failure is growing. It is estimated that 2-10% of people over the age of 65 suffer from the disease. It is a chronic syndrome with an ongoing pattern of worsening and remission that can cause terrible suffering and even death. Having said that, modern medicine has the tools to treat it. The correct treatment can prevent repeated hospitalization and complications and improve the patient’s quality of life, even allowing him or her to lead a perfectly normal existence.
Heart failure treatment is lengthy and requires the full cooperation of the patient and his or her family. Knowledge and understanding of the causes of the disease and the ways to treat it can allay concerns and improve chances of success.
When you begin displaying symptoms that could indicate heart failure, the doctor will listen to your medical history, ask clarifying questions to gather the necessary data, examine you and, if necessary, refer you for comprehensive tests:
• Full physical examination
• Blood pressure, pulse, level of oxygen in the blood
• Checking the veins in your neck. If there is increased pressure in the right atrium, the veins in the neck swell and stand out, which testifies to an excess of fluid in the body and more severe heart failure. The doctor will examine your neck veins while you are lying at a 30°-45° angle.
• Listening to your lungs and heart using a stethoscope. Grunting sounds during breathing could indicate an accumulation of liquids in the lungs and heart murmurs could signify problems in valve activity.
• Examining the abdomen, ankles and legs, which could swell due to the accumulation of fluid.
• Weighing – the accumulation of fluid can lead to an increase in weight.
• Blood tests, including full blood count, electrolytes, liver and kidney function, glucose, TSH lipid profile, and in relevant cases your digoxin and blood iron levels.
Treating Heart Failure
The treatment of heart failure is designed to reduce the characteristics of the illness, improve the patient’s quality of life, prevent deterioration and more hospitalization and even extend life expectancy. The team prepares an individual treatment and monitoring program for each patient in accordance with his or her medical situation. Depending on the severity of the illness, a variety of treatment options are offered.
• Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
• Regular, consistent medicinal treatment according to doctor’s instructions
• Periodical monitoring tests as directed by the medical team
• Maintenance of pacemakers and catheterization
• Surgical operations
Dr. Tal Hasin
mon, wed: 09:00-13:00