Heart & Vascular

Heart Failure

Video: Carilion Clinic's heart failure experts discuss heart failure, treatment options, lifestyle changes, and general education utilizing Google Hangouts.

An estimated five million Americans live with heart failure, a medical term that describes a heart that is still working but is no longer pumping as strongly or filling as effectively as it once did. The term "heart failure" describes damage that has resulted from long-standing heart disease or from a severe heart attack. At Carilion Clinic, we have specialized expertise in helping patients throughout Virginia with heart failure live well as possible for as long as possible.

Heart failure may result from any or all of the following:

  • Heart valve disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heart rate)
  • Previous heart attack(s)
  • Excessive sodium intake
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

Carilion's dedicated inpatient Heart Failure Unit and our outpatient Heart Failure Clinic, are staffed with specialists and support staff who've completed extensive training in the care of heart failure patients. Our goal is always to improve your overall quality of life. In addition to providing lifestyle support, information and education focused on helping you to maintain a normal life, we provide the full complement of advanced heart failure treatments, including medical management and surgery.

Also, Carilion is proud to provide an innovative new and highly specialized heart failure treatment for severe patients in the form of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), called the HeartMate II.

CardioMEMs HF System

The CardioMEMs HF System

Carilion Clinic is the first health care system in Virginia and the Carolinas to offer groundbreaking technology to monitor heart failure patients. The CardioMEMs HF System is a miniaturized (about the size of a paperclip), wireless monitoring sensor that monitors heart failure patients remotely.

The CardioMEMs HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure.

Video: Hazel Johnson
CardioMEMs (Heart Failure) Patient

The CardioMEMS technology transmits important information daily to clinicians at Carilion’s Roanoke Heart Failure Clinic to help adjust, monitor and track treatment of this patient population. Patients with heart failure typically have increased hospital readmissions and this procedure can help prevent hospitalizations from occurring. It is currently the only FDA-approved heart failure device proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when use by physicians to manage heart failure.

Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology resulted in a statistically significant 28 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure hospitalization at six months, and 37 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalization during and after follow-up duration of 15 months.

Congestive Heart Failure Care at Carilion Clinic

Know the Five - Don't Ignore the Signs of Heart Failure

  1. Weight gain - 2-3 pounds in one day
  2. Shortness of breath -with little change in activity
  3. Increased swelling - in feet, legs or abdomen
  4. Heart rate - fast or irregular
  5. Fatigue - more than usual