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Heart Failure Clinic

Heart Failure (HF) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) are both serious illnesses and yet many people are not aware that they may be afflicted. When left unmanaged, HF and CHF can be debilitating and impact the quality and longevity of one's life. Early recognition and diagnosis, along with a patient's understanding of their condition is the recommended approach to managing heart failure.

Heart Failure and Congestive Heart Failure are quickly becoming two of the most pressing health problems facing our communities. At the McLaren Northern Michigan Heart Failure Clinic, our team of highly experienced physicians, Advance Practice Nurses, (APN's) and other medical professionals are dedicated to working with individual patients throughout their life's journey by helping them understand and manage the symptoms of their type of heart failure diagnosis. Our healthcare professionals understand the associated anxieties patients experience when faced with the diagnosis of heart disease.

Our purpose is to educate patients and their families about this condition, the purpose of medications, the impact of certain diets and foods and the importance of monitored physical activity. Our primary goal is to improve the patient's condition and avoid repeated hospitalization

Our Locations

Heart Failure Clinic at McLaren Northern Michigan

What can the Heart Failure Clinic do for you?
The Heart Failure Clinic at McLaren Northern Michigan is dedicated to reducing the incidence of 30-day heart failure readmission through treatment, education, and follow-up. Heart failure patients already admitted to the hospital will receive a referral at the time of discharge; others may be referred directly from their primary care physician.

Studies show that early follow-up in a specialty clinic, like the Heart Failure Clinic, can keep patients out of the hospital and decrease visits to the emergency department. The McLaren Northern Michigan Heart Failure Clinic involves patients and their families as active partners in the management of this chronic disease. 

Heart Failure ClinicPatient Experience
The goal of the Heart Failure Clinic is to improve quality of life and keep you out of the hospital! Our team of doctors and nurses will work with you, your family doctor, and cardiologist to develop a plan of care to help manage heart failure symptoms. Office visits are schedule for a full hour to give enough time to provide all the care and education patients and their family need to live life. 

What does the office visit include:

  • Review and prescription of medical therapy
  • Lab evaluation, including blood work
  • six-minute walk in your intial visit
  • Education on lifestyle behaviors that help prevent hospital readmission
  • Referrals for appropriate support services including home health services, dietary guidance, cardiac rehabilitation, sleep study, and CardioCom telemonitoring
  • Initiation and updating of ongoing Advanced Directives
  • Evaluation of current and upcoming research trials when appropriate
  • Providing long-term management to complement the services of primary care providers or cardiologists
  • Coordination of end-of-life-services when needed
  • Providing written communication to referring physicians after each patient visit

Ask your physician for a referral or call (231) 487-5883 for information. Our commitment is to work with you and your physician to provide the highest standard of specialty care. Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities.

Understanding Heart Failure

According to the American Heart Association, heart failure affects nearly six million Americans. Mistakenly, many people believe that heart failure means that the heart has stopped or is about to stop"beating". Heart failure is a progressive condition which occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump enough blood to the body's organs and tissues. With too little blood being delivered, these tissues and body organs do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly over a period of time.

The most common causes of heart failure include:

  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Narrowing of the heart's arteries (coronary artery disease)

Other common contributors which may lead to heart failure include heart valve disease, viral infections, alcohol/drug abuse, and severe lung disease.

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Heart Failure symptoms can vary widely from person to person depending on varying conditions and medical factors. The onset of heart failure may go unnoticed for many, but as the disease progresses symptoms described are likely to become more severe and include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Tiredness, fatigue
  • Lack of appetite, nausea
  • Swelling of legs and abdomen
  • Weight gain

About Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a type of heart failure which differs in symptoms.

As blood flows out of the heart slows down, the blood that returns to the heart through the veins is backed up, thus causing congestion in the tissues of the body. Usually, this swelling happens in the limbs of the body but can occur elsewhere in the body as well.

On occasion, fluid can build up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe or causing general shortness of breath, primarily when lying down. This is referred to as pulmonary edema, and if left untreated, can lead to potentially fatal respiratory distress.

Another issue related to congestive heart failure is the effect on the ability of the kidneys to dispose of excess sodium and water from the body.