Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump oxygen-rich blood quickly enough, blocking the rest of the body from receiving the nutrients it needs. This condition usually develops over time as the heart weakens from disease or defects and cannot pump properly.
Now a new procedure is being offered at MercyOne North Iowa Cardiology Care at the Mason City Clinic to help heart failure patients. A sensor is implanted inside of a blood vessel of the lung in the pulmonary artery which helps doctors monitor patients remotely to see if fluids are building up, allowing them to intervene sooner and decrease repeated hospitalizations.
Youssef Nasr, MD, board certified in Cardiology talks about this new procedure in this video and the benefit to patients.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump oxygen rich blood to the body. This can happen from two conditions, in two situations. Either because the heart is too weak and unable to pump the blood or it is too stiff to fill up with the blood, but the end result is the same. Meaning less amount of blood getting pumped to the rest of the body, less oxygen, and the patient will feel tired, short of breath, and they can build up fluid.
Heart failure is a chronic problem. Unfortunately, around 6 million people in the United States have heart failure and 50% of these patients diagnosed with heart failure will pass, will die within six years.
One of the big problems in heart failure is recurrent hospital admissions. The patients will frequently build up fluids, they get short of breath, and they have to end up in the hospital to get treated for that. More than 30% of patients who got admitted to the hospital for this problem and got discharged within one month, within 30 days, they end up again in the hospital so you can see how difficult it is to manage these patients.
Nowadays, we have a sensor that is implanted inside of a blood vessel of the lung in the pulmonary artery. That sensor can help us in monitoring these patients remotely to see how much they have a fluid inside of their lungs, inside of their body. Once we implant that sensor inside of the pulmonary artery of a patient, they go home with a special pillow that will transmit the pressure to us on a daily basis.
Myself and the nurse, we monitor these numbers on a daily basis and we can see the fluctuations in these numbers and we can know if this patient is building up fluids even before they feel it. What we do whenever we see such a change, we call the patient, we check on him or on her, and we adjust the medications remotely. We have demonstrated that by doing this, we can prevent the hospital admission or the patient’s getting sicker and we can make them feel better.
Based on the studies reported from that sensor, around 60% of hospitalizations were decreased when they use that sensor. I believe in the patients that we did so far, we did not have 40% hospitalization, we had even less. This is why I’m saying the outcome so far been really great and even better than what is reported.
You are at an increased risk of heart failure if you have one or more of the following conditions:
– Coronary artery disease
– High blood pressure
– Valvular heart disease
– Smoke tobacco
– Eat foods high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium
– Are physically inactive
– Consume alcohol excessively
– Shortness of breath during daily activities
– Having trouble breathing when lying down
– Weight gain with swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, or stomach
– Generally feeling tired or weak
Early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality and length of life for people who have heart failure. Treatments can range from medications to surgery.
To learn more about this procedure or for any other cardiology services, call 641-494-5300.