Heart Failure Program
Doylestown Health's Heart Failure Program, recipient of the American Heart Association's highest quality achievement award, supports patients with research-based guidelines, innovative therapies and a devoted program coordinator. Our team of caregivers works to manage heart failure symptoms in a personalized way, considering each patient's lifestyle and goals.
About Heart Failure
Heart Failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood through the body. According to the American Heart Association, more than 6 million people in the United States have heart failure and it is one of the most common reasons why adults age 65 and older require hospitalization.
Heart Failure Symptoms
Symptoms typically increase as the heart becomes weaker and less able to pump blood through the body.
Signs of heart failure include:
- Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet due to excess fluid
- Weight gain, stomach bloating, and decreased appetite due to excess fluid
- Increased shortness of breath due to excess fluid
- Coughing due to excess fluid
- Unable to lie flat due to excess fluid
- Waking up short of breath due to excess fluid
- Fatigue due to reduced blood supply to the organs and muscles
- Poor exercise tolerance
- Dizziness or "blackouts"
Heart Failure Screening & Diagnosis
To determine whether you have heart failure below are commonly diagnostic tests your healthcare team may order:
- Laboratory blood work: To check drug levels, chemistry, blood counts, etc.
- Prothrombin Time (INR): To monitor blood thinning from warfarin (Coumadin).
- Chest X-ray: To evaluate fluid in the lungs.
- Echocardiogram: To evaluate how well the heart pumps and valves function.
- Exercise Stress Testing: To evaluate coronary artery blockages.
- Cardiopulmonary Stress Testing (VO2): To evaluate exercise tolerance and effectiveness of medicines.
Heart Failure Treatment
Because heart failure is caused by damage to the heart over time, it cannot be cured. However, the symptoms of heart failure can be treated to improve a patient's quality of life and survival.
Our board-certified heart failure experts deliver personalized care, guidance and support along with the latest treatments to help patients manage heart failure symptoms.
Find a cardiologist
Doylestown Health's Heart and Vascular Center actively participates in clinical trial research. To learn more about a clinical trial related to your medical condition, call us at 215.345.2328.
Heart failure is a lifelong condition. Your Doylestown Health physicians and care team help you manage symptoms, offering follow-up care and education, medication monitoring and device-related care.
For more information contact the Heart Failure Coordinator at 215.345.2917.