What is heart failure?
The heart’s pumping action delivers blood rich with oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart is too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This results in fatigue, breathing problems and other symptoms that indicate a need for medical evaluation.
Diseases that damage the heart — including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and diabetes — are common causes of heart failure. Smoking, obesity, eating foods high in fat and sodium, and physical inactivity also increase your risk. Heart failure becomes more common with age and is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization. A healthy lifestyle and proper medications can reduce the effects of heart failure and the need for hospitalization.
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Frequent coughing or wheezing
- Swollen feet, legs and ankles
- Sudden weight gain/bloating
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Fatigue or weakness
- Confusion or decreased alertness
Heart failure is usually a chronic condition that will not go away, but it may be managed by taking medication and making lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet and regular exercise. Successful treatment of heart failure requires you, your family and your physician to work together. The earlier you start treatment for heart failure, the better your chance of controlling symptoms and preventing further damage to your heart.
About the Heart Failure Clinic
The outpatient clinic cares for all patients with heart failure, from mild to severe cases. The clinic’s multidisciplinary team is directed by a cardiologist and includes a nurse practitioner, nutritionist, care manager and pharmacist. Our team works collaboratively with you and your primary care physician to achieve your health goals.
- Education on nutrition, exercise and medication management
- Office-based infusion treatments by trained nurses
- Access to cardiologists and physicians trained in the latest treatments
- Cooper/Clayton Method to Stop Smoking classes
- Referrals to cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy services
- Summary of treatment and care sent to your primary care physician
The clinic is located on the ground level for easy access. Your first visit will last about one hour. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Bring all your prescription and over-the-counter medications. If you were recently discharged from the hospital, bring your “Learning to Live with Heart Failure” self-care handbook.
To make an appointment, call (502) 636-8266.
Heart Failure Clinic
Norton Medical Plaza East – Audubon
Louisville, KY 40217
Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily