Failure is a progressive condition affecting more than 5 million Americans. February 13-19 is Heart Failure awareness week. While the incidence of other cardiovascular diseases has declined, heart failure is on the rise. It is estimated that more than 500,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed annually. Heart failure is more common in people over 65, but inNew Mexico, heart failure is often diagnosed at an earlier age.

The University of New Mexico is proud to be the only hospital in the state certified for Advanced Heart Failure treatment by the Joint Commission. Additionally, the heart failure program has won the Gold Award for excellence given by the American Heart Association for the last three years.

Care of the heart failure patient is coordinated by a team of heart failure experts in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. The heart failure program focuses on patient and family management of this chronic disease and includes physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, and social workers.

Bart Cox, M.D.,  has recently joined UNM as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program. He received his MD from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Cardiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr Cox is board certified in Cardiology and in Advance Heart Failure/Transplantation Cardiology and in Internal Medicine. He is actively involved in inpatient and outpatient care, and emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary continuity of care for heart failure patients.

Symptoms That May Signal Heart FailureFebruary 13-19 is Heart Failure Awareness Week

Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle weakens and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs. While there is currently no known cure for heart failure, recent advances in treatment offer patients a more normal life expectancy.

Risk Factors for Heart Failure:
High blood pressure
Prior heart attack
History of heart murmurs
Enlarged heart
Diabetes
Family history of enlarged heart.

Heart Failure Symptoms include:
Breathing difficulties including:
Shortness of breath from walking stairs or simple activities
Trouble breathing when resting or lying down
Waking up breathless at nigh
Needing more than two pillows to sleep Fatigue, such as:
Tiring easily
Swelling of feet, ankles or legs
General feeling of fatigue Coughing including:
Chest congestion and frequent coughing
Coughing that produces mucus or pink, blood-tinged sputum
Dry, hacking cough when lying flat in bed. These symptoms are common and may represent other diseases.

Patients who experience any of these symptoms or risk factors should consult a physician for evaluation.

 


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322