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Pikeville Medical Center offers a special clinic to help those suffering from heart failure learn more about their disease.
Leslie Maynard, Family Nurse Practitioner, runs the PMC Heart Failure Clinics.
She strives to educate those patients who are referred to the clinic.
“Congestive heart failure (CHF) develops when the heart cannot pump adequate amounts of blood for the body’s needs. The heart tries to compensate and work harder by dilating (enlargement of the heart chambers), by becoming hypertrophic (thickening of the heart walls), or by beating faster,” according to Maynard.
“CHF is more of a symptom of the underlying disease,” Maynard said. “It’s anybody who becomes symptomatic, where their heart is not pumping adequately.”
“We are seeing more heart failure than we ever have before,” Maynard said. “The reason we are seeing more heart failure is because of the advancement in modern technology.”
“People are living from symptoms that they weren’t living from before,” Maynard continued. “In the past many people did not live after a heart attack. They survive because of our medical technology. They are left with a weakened heart.”
“After we fix one problem, we have another to work on,” Maynard said. “They survive, so then we treat the weakened heart.”
Maynard said signs and symptoms are as follows:
“Some patients will come in and they’re not sure what’s wrong, but they know they can’t do the things they are used to doing,” Maynard said. “The inability to perform normal, simple, everyday activities.”
“There is no cure for heart failure, only treatment,” Maynard added. “Our goal is to help the patient understand the disease process.”
“It is a team effort and takes a commitment from both sides,” Maynard said of the clinic’s relationship with a heart failure patient. “We provide the patient with handouts to help educate them. They have to apply what they learn and take it home.
If they don’t use that, then nothing is going to change.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Maynard works closely with Dr. Jose Velazquez, M.D., the Director of the PMC Heart Failure Clinic, and Dr. Bill Harris, M.D. Patients should ask their family physician about further testing and making a referral to the clinic. For more information on the PMC Heart Failure Clinic phone 606-218-4818.
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