Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly prevalent chronic condition in which the heart is unable to properly pump the blood leading to breathing problems and other symptoms. It often gets worse over time and many people die of the condition.
Symptoms of CHF
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Cognitive impairment
- Swollen feet and ankles
Palliative Care For CHF
Palliative care for CHF is specialized medical care provided by a team of physicians who are expert in palliative medicine, patient’s treating cardiologist and support staff. They are well-versed with all the techniques required to navigate the complex healthcare system.
Although palliative care can be given at any age and at any stage of illness but ideally, it should be started as soon as the patient is diagnosed with CHF and be continued throughout the entire course of illness and treatment. It gives best results when given along with curative treatment.
Goals Of Palliative Care For CHF
- Perform lymphatic drainage, a technique that reduces leg swelling and its associated pain
- Prescribe medications for pain and other symptoms associated with CHF
- Use non-therapeutic approaches to treat CHF
- Educate patient about how to stand, sit and lie down to improve breathing comfort
- Train patient in the use of fans, relaxation methods, meditation and breathing exercises to decrease any anxiety or panic associated with breathlessness
- Guide patient and his family through the distress of disease
- Manage worse, sudden and unpredictable attacks
Advantages Palliative Care For CHF
- Keep patient and his family well-informed, up to date and in control of the disorder
- Facilitates discussion about health situation between patient, family and the physicians
- Gives realistic idea about the disease, how it works, where it might lead and what it means to the patient and family
- Guides patient and family to make realistic and clear health and care goals
- Facilitates best possible quality of life to the patient and family while living with CHF