Friday, November 20, 2009
For heart failure patients suffering from fluid overload, time is of the essence. Excess fluid builds up in various locations in a patient's body and eventually, can lead to a reduction in the amount of oxygen entering the blood causing shortness of breath and discomfort. Baptist Cardiovascular Services, a division of Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., is proud to announce the addition of Aquapheresis Therapy using the Aquadex FlexFlow to its latest advancement in the treatment of patients with fluid overload - helping patients and clinicians breathe easier.
Fluid overload refers to a condition in which excess salt and water accumulates throughout a patient's body. In fact, this excess fluid is what puts the "congestive" in congestive heart failure and is the cause of the most obvious and common symptoms seen. An inefficient heart can lead to a buildup of excess fluid, which accumulates in the lungs, liver and extremities, causing shortness of breath, decreased function of vital organs and swelling of the extremities.
CHF is a condition that affects approximately 5 million Americans and is responsible for 1 million annual hospitalizations. This surpasses the number of hospitalizations due to all forms of cancer and heart attacks combined. More than 500,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year. The estimated economic burden of heart failure care is in excess of $28 billion in the United States. Due to prolonged hospitalizations and high readmission rates, many hospitals often lose more than $1,000 for each heart failure admission.
"With the implementation of this new treatment protocol, we are able to reduce the time it takes to treat heart failure patients," said Cardiologist James Warnock, MD with Jackson Heart Clinic, P.A. "The faster we're able to get the patients breathing easier, the better their outcomes and the more quickly they get home to their families."
The use of Aquadex FlexFlow can help Baptist patients with fluid overload breath easier and decrease length of stay.
Dr. Warnock added, "We are hopeful that this therapy will also reduce the chance that a patient will come back to the hospital with the same problem."
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