Heart Failure


Heart Failure

“Heart failure” sounds alarming at first. When you have heart failure, your heart is still working, but it is not pumping as strongly or filling as effectively as it once did.

Heart failure will not go away, but it can be managed so you can extend your life and remain active for as long as possible. 

It is important to remember that you are not alone. About 5 million people in the United States are living with heart failure.

What are the signs and symptoms?

If you have more than one of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a heart problem, report them to your health care provider:

  • Buildup of excess body fluid (water retention in feet, ankles, legs, abdomen)
  • Confusion, impaired thinking
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lack of appetite, nausea
  • Persistent coughing, wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness, fatigue

Managing heart failure

Munson Medical Center opened a Heart Failure Clinic in 2013 to help the growing number of people who have heart failure. 

The heart failure team includes a board-certified heart failure cardiologist, a specially trained nurse practitioner, a nurse specialist, and a pharmacist specializing in the diagnosis and management of heart failure.

Heart failure can’t be cured, but it can be treated. Treatment options include:

  • Cardiac rehab
  • Implanted devices
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Prescription medications
  • Surgical procedures

The overall Heart Failure Clinic program has been highly successful in treating heart failure and reducing hospital readmission rates. In fact, Munson Medical Center has the lowest 30-day readmission rate in the nation.

Heart Services Are Nearby

If you have any symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call 911. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. EMTs can begin life-saving care immediately before you reach the hospital.

For more information, contact your primary care provider or Traverse Heart and Vascular at 800-637-4033.