Meitra Heart Failure Unit:

The Heart Failure Unit at Meitra Hospital, Kozhikode, is a first of its kind, providing  comprehensive management for heart failure patients, including device (LVAD) based treatments followed by post therapy complete care continuum. The team of specialists are specifically trained in managing heart failure cases during emergencies and work as an integrated multidisciplinary team to ensure that you are taken care of, irrespective of your condition, however simple or complex. The heart failure unit is having exclusively:

  • where advanced cardiopulmonary tests and assessments are performed supervised by specially trained doctors, nurses, and technicians
  • Dedicated Heart Failure ICU
  • Dedicated Team of Specialists

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure always sounds alarming but is not the cause of sudden death as one may probably think it is. Contrary to the belief that heart failure means it suddenly stops functioning, it actually indicates that the heart might not be pumping well as required to fulfil its duties of delivering oxygen-rich blood to the cells in your body. Heart failure doesn’t happen in a day but progresses towards the worse with time, when left untreated. It gradually weakens, making the organ toil harder to force itself to pump faster to ensure more blood is circulated through the body.

There are two types of heart failure that you may suffer from:

  • Diastolic Heart Failure when your heart fails to properly fill adequate blood in the resting time in between each beat
  • Systolic Heart Failure or Left Ventricle Heart Failure when your heart is failing to pump required amount of blood to the rest of your

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Keep a watch on the following symptoms to avoid further worsening of your heart problems:

  • Feeling fatigued throughout the day
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unexplained changes in weight
  • Swelling in your feet, legs, and abdomen

Causes of Heart Failure

With ageing, our ability to pump out blood from the heart diminishes and as we add stress due to lack of work-life balance and lifestyle factors such being physically inactive, smoking, being overweight, etc., it results in comorbidities, making our heart weak, and thus paving way for heart failure. And people who have survived heart attacks before and have other health complications or heart vessel problems are at greater risk of heart failure. You may be at risk of suffering a heart failure if you have:

  • Family history of heart complications
  • Diabetes or high blood sugar
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Had heart attacks before
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat
  • Complications in the valves of the heart, especially aortic and mitral valves
  • Cardiomyopathy or commonly referred to as disease of the heart muscle
  • Congenital heart defects (defects right from birth)
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Haemochromatosis (a dangerous iron build-up in the body)

Diagnosing a Heart Failure

To determine the type and progression of your heart failure, cardiologists may conduct tests including:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac MRI and CT scan
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology Studies.

Treatment

Treatment may include lifestyle changes, medications, surgery or medical devices. Your care is integrated, from diagnosis and treatment to follow-up. Depending on your condition, your heart failure treatment may include procedures such as:

  • Implantation of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs)
  • Implantation of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) &/or Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy + Defibrillator (CRT-D)
  • Implantation of pacemakers, including biventricular pacemakers
  • Implantation of ventricular assist devices
  • Heart transplant for some people who have advanced heart failure

Common Advice for Heart Failure Patients:

  • Never skip medicines and take them on time, as prescribed by the doctor
  • Stay active as much as you can
  • Keep a watch on your salt and fluid intake and consume a heart healthy diet
  • Monitor your weight – gain or loss – both
  • Keep a watch on the symptoms and contact your doctor immediately for help
  • Stay happy

DOCTORS

Director and Advisor, Centre of Heart & Vascular care, Senior Consultant Cardiologist
Senior Consultant – Cardiology
Senior consultant & Interventional Cardiologist
Senior Consultant – Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology
Junior Consultant – Heart & Vascular Care, Meitra Hospital

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