CHF exacerbation treatment with heart
Congestive heart failure (CHF) exacerbations can be frightening. Whether chronic or acute, symptoms like shortness of breath and a rapid heartbeat can leave you worried about potential complications, especially if you or your elderly loved one has other underlying medical conditions. And during a CHF exacerbation, seniors often won’t feel well enough to venture out to the closest emergency room or urgent care center. That’s where DispatchHealth comes in. As a mobile urgent care provider who conveniently treats CHF patients in the comfort of their own homes, we can help you manage your or your elderly loved one’s CHF exacerbation without stepping foot outside of the house. We can perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) test at your home, helping to assess your situation, and we’ll be sure to keep your primary care provider or cardiologist in the loop about your visit to ensure continuity of care for your congestive heart failure.
CHF exacerbation symptoms & when to seek treatment
Symptoms of CHF can come on in one of two ways—chronic or acute. Chronic symptoms are ongoing, subjecting you to regular exacerbations, and acute symptoms can come on suddenly. Signs and symptoms include:
- Edema in the feet, ankles, or legs
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough paired with pink or white phlegm
- Difficulty exercising
- Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
- Nausea and/or lack of appetite
- Decreased alertness and/or trouble concentrating
- Swelling of the abdomen
- An increase in need to urinate at night
- Chest pain, if caused by heart attack
And if you experience any of the follow emergency symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Chest pain
- Severe weakness or fainting
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Sudden and severe shortness of breath
- Coughing up pink mucus that is foamy
What causes CHF exacerbations in seniors?
Heart failure happens when the ventricles become unable to fill properly between each beat or are unable to pump enough blood throughout the body, whether from damage, weakness, or stiffness. This can happen to both ventricles or just one, each of which lead to different symptoms. Heart failure in the left ventricle, for instance, often leads to fluid backups in your lungs, whereas right ventricle failure can lead to fluid backups in the legs, feet, and abdomen.
Underlying conditions are often a cause of CHF in seniors, and unfortunately, many of them can be present without your knowledge. Some of the most common culprits include:
- High blood pressure
- Damage to the heart
- Congenial heart defects
- Coronary artery disease/heart attack
How to prevent CHF exacerbations in seniors
Unlike many conditions, CHF can often be prevented by reducing risk factors. And fortunately, many risk factors are within your power to control. Making lifestyle changes and talking to your doctor about potentially helpful medications can make a big difference in preventing CHF and CHF exacerbations.
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your risk of CHF:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Keep conditions such as hypertension and diabetes in check
- Manage stress effectively
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy weight
If left untreated
CHF can lead to a number of complications which will depend on the root cause and severity of your CHF, your health, your age, and a number of other factors. Kidney damage/failure is among the most serious; as CHF worsens, it can reduce blood flow to your kidneys, sometimes requiring dialysis. CHF can also lead to heart valve issues which can interrupt the proper flow of blood through your heart, liver damage, and arrhythmia. These complications can be life threatening if left untreated, sometimes leading to the necessity of a heart transplant or the need for a ventricular assist device.
The fortunate thing is that many people with CHF’s symptoms can improve with the right treatment. That’s where DispatchHealth comes in. As a mobile urgent care provider, we offer convenient, in-home medical care for simple to complex conditions and illnesses—including CHF. We’re standing by, ready to spring into action to treat your CHF exacerbation within the comfort of your own home. We offer most major forms of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offer an affordable flat rate for uninsured patients. We’ll also be sure to loop your primary care provider and/or cardiologist in after our visit to ensure continuity of care across your medical team. Requesting a visit is simple—simply give us a call, download our app, or use our website to receive the care you need for a CHF exacerbation on your doorstep within just a few hours.