Home health HEALTH: Heart Failure Awareness Day

HEALTH: Heart Failure Awareness Day

by drbyos

The Dijon Burgundy CHU puts a heart trump card on the mat and responds in video to the various questions on heart failure.

This Tuesday, September 28, is heart failure awareness day. Symptoms, treatments, support … The Therapeutic Unit for Heart Failure (UTIC), with the institutional support of Novartis, offers 5 videos to inform and make everyone aware of this pathology.

What is heart failure?

The heart is a muscular pump that alternately fills and empties. Heart failure is the result of a malfunction of this pump, either because it does not fill properly, or because it does not empty properly. Several diseases can explain this malfunction: an increase in the thickness and rigidity of the walls of the heart (linked for example to high blood pressure), valve disease, a heart attack that occurs if a coronary artery becomes blocked, or general muscle disease called cardiomyopathy.

Heart failure is very common since it affects more than a million people in France. Poorly treated, it can be serious: mortality is comparable to that of many cancers. It therefore reduces life expectancy, but also the quality of life of patients through the symptoms it causes.

The management and treatment of heart failure

Heart failure often requires repeated hospital stays, it is the leading cause of hospitalization after 60 years.

There are several classes of drugs that are very effective, which considerably improve the quality of life and life expectancy, and which reduce the risk of hospitalization. These should be prescribed appropriately, tailored to each individual case. They must be taken assiduously and accompanied by a special diet, a healthy lifestyle and self-monitoring, especially weight.

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The person with heart failure must be well informed of what to do and what not to do: this is the role of therapeutic education. Its success is based primarily on the involvement of the patient himself, who becomes an actor in his care, and on the collaboration between many health professionals, doctors specializing in heart failure, cardiologist, general practitioner, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists …

The Heart Failure Therapeutic Unit

UTIC was created in 2005 at the Dijon Bourgogne CHU. It is a unit dedicated to the treatment, support and education of heart failure patients.

A multidisciplinary team made up of a doctor, an assistant doctor, two interns currently in training, a health manager, two nurses, a social worker and a dietician offers adapted care and individualized in different forms:
– individual consultations,
– exchanges and transmissions with private nurses as part of post-hospitalization follow-up,
– animation of group workshops,
– handling and processing of alerts as part of the remote monitoring of patients.

UTIC professionals participate in multi-professional meetings, which make it possible to decide on individualized care adapted to each patient and taking into account the evolution of the disease, the social situation and the patient’s possibilities.

Four symptoms constitute the warning signs of heart failure (it is possible to present only one of these symptoms or several concomitantly):
– Shortness of breath on exertion and / or lying down;
– Significant weight gain in a few days;
– Edema of the lower limbs with swollen legs and feet;
– Significant fatigue, including for a little effort, which leads to a decrease in activity with worsening of muscle loss.

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To maintain health, a heart failure patient can follow the following four main recommendations:
– E for Physical exercise: the practice of an adapted physical activity is recommended to maintain its muscles and help the heart in its pump work
– P like weighing yourself, monitoring your weight, in order to detect the appearance of water and sodium retention,
– O for Adherence to treatments: it is essential to take your treatments well to help the heart work properly, in order to avoid the worsening of the disease and to stabilize it.
– N like Do not over-salt and do not drink too much in order to avoid water retention and cardiac decompensation.

Finally, heart failure is one of the chronic diseases that can be destabilized by a viral or bacterial infection, so it is important to be vaccinated against the flu, pneumococcus and COVID-19.

Videos to raise awareness and inform the public

The UTIC team wanted to get involved this year, by offering a virtual format to this heart failure awareness day. You can learn more about the symptoms, treatments and management available to patients with heart failure.

Find all the videos on the CHU website from Tuesday, September 28:


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