Heart Failure Care
Find personalized, well-rounded care from experts at Nash UNC Health Care’s Heart Failure Clinic. You’ll benefit from advanced treatments to lessen symptoms and address potential problems as early as possible, so you can focus on enjoying life.
Heart Failure Risk Factors
Ask your doctor about your risk for heart failure and what preventive care or screening tests may be right for you. Your risk may be higher because of:
- Cardiovascular conditions that weaken the heart, such as heart attack or stroke
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
Symptoms of Heart Failure
Heart failure can affect your energy levels and make it hard to do your daily activities. Talk to your primary care provider if you experience:
- Edema, the swelling of the legs, feet, arms, or hands
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Shortness of breath
If you have signs of heart failure, choose a Nash UNC cardiologist near you in Rocky Mount. A cardiologist is a doctor with advanced education to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart problems.
Diagnosing Heart Failure
Get the information you need to make informed choices about your health. Your cardiologist will determine if you have heart failure based on your symptoms and the results of:
If you have heart failure, your cardiologist will explain what type of heart failure you have and how severe it is.
Your First Appointment
When you come to your first consultation, bring:
- Copy of your medical records from your primary care provider or past cardiologist
- List of the medications you currently take
Your first appointment will be with one of our expert cardiologists. After that, you’ll get ongoing care from your cardiologist and our dedicated heart failure nurse practitioner.
Heart Failure Treatment Plan
Work with your care team to slow or stop the progression of your condition, so you can return to the activities that are important to you.
Your care plan is customized to your goals and preferences. Depending on your needs, you may receive:
- Cardiac rehabilitation, a supervised exercise and education program
- Exercise planning
- Help to stop smoking
- Medications, such as beta-blockers and diuretics
- Nutrition planning to follow a low-sodium (low-salt) diet
- Ongoing monitoring
- Surgery, such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
- Weight management counseling
Count on our nurse practitioner to:
- Check in with you
- Connect you with resources, such as financial assistance, to help overcome barriers to managing heart failure
- Help schedule your appointments
- Make sure you get the medications you need
Your doctor may recommend diuretic therapy, which removes extra fluid and salt in the body to improve your health and quality of life. This treatment is unique in our area as an outpatient service. Outpatient means you visit the clinic for treatment and go home afterward.
What to Expect
During treatment, you’ll take diuretic medications through an IV (intravenously) to safely lower your fluid levels and blood pressure while our staff monitors you.
Treatments take place in a designated room. You’ll appreciate amenities designed with your comfort in mind. These include:
- Comfortable reclining chairs
- Privacy curtains
- View of a beautiful garden
During the four-hour session, relax in your chair or walk around the room or garden. You can bring a loved one with you or share your experiences with other patients in a supportive environment. Up to four patients at a time can receive diuretic therapy. Expect to attend two to four sessions.
Cost of Diuretic Therapy
Your diuresis session will cost the same as a regular office visit. Diuresis can help you avoid complications that could lead to an expensive visit to the emergency room or hospitalization.
Track Your Weight
Follow your care team’s instructions for taking care of yourself. Quickly gaining weight could be a sign of fluid buildup, which could lead to emergency hospitalization. Ask our staff for a free scale if you do not have one.
Weigh yourself daily at the same time and record your weight in a journal. Share the journal with your Nash UNC care team.
When to Get Help
Call your Nash UNC heart failure care provider right away if you:
- Gain three pounds in a day or five pounds in a week
- Have increased swelling, tiredness, or shortness of breath
Hospital Heart Failure Care
Look to Nash UNC to keep you out of the hospital and at home as much as possible. If you need more specialized care for severe symptoms or heart failure complications, rest assured you’ll receive high-quality attention from professionals with experience treating and managing heart failure.
Look for Nash UNC staff in your community educating friends and neighbors about heart disease and offering screening tests. Contact our team if you’d like to host a screening or educational event at your organization.