Singing River Health System has outpatient heart failure clinics at both Ocean Springs Hospital and Singing River Hospital. Each clinic is staffed with registered nurses that work with your cardiologists to provide close monitoring of your heart failure condition. There is also a registered dietitian available for individual dietary counseling.
The heart failure clinic staff will monitor your weight, blood pressure, heart rhythm and labs to help manage your heart failure symptoms. Depending on your current condition, your physician may also order you to receive certain IV medications to help remove excess fluid or increase the heart’s ability to pump more effectively. The clinic staff will also provide education regarding your condition to help you manage your symptoms.
Enrollment in the heart failure clinic is by physician order only. When initially enrolled, patients are generally seen once a week for the first month, then once every other week for a month and then once a month as long as symptoms are controlled. Your physician may increase or decrease your recommended frequency depending on your current condition. Talk with your physician to see if the heart failure clinic is right for you.
If you have concerns regarding symptoms, patients are encouraged to contact the heart failure clinic staff to speak with a registered nurse regarding managing symptoms on an outpatient basis.
Heart Failure Explained
Heart failure is a condition that causes weakening of the heart and decreases its ability to pump as effectively. With heart failure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body to meet the need for oxygen and nutrients. As your heart tries to pump more blood, the muscle walls become weaker over time. Heart failure is a chronic or long term condition. However, with careful management by your physician and compliance with your diet, medications and exercise, you can live longer and feel better. Your involvement in the management of your care and knowledge of your condition is key to living with heart failure.
Possible causes or risk factors for heart failure include high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, heart attack or blocked arteries, heart valve disease, diabetes, drug and/or alcohol abuse, infection, lung disease or eating too much salt. Symptoms of heart failure may include shortness of breath that is worse than usual or shortness of breath at rest, swelling (such as in legs, ankles, or abdomen), dizziness, fatigue, weakness, cold or clammy skin and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.