The Critical Care Systems cardiac care program specializes in delivering safe, comprehensive inotropic services for patients with congestive heart failure. Our local team provides inotropic therapy with care and compassion in the comfort of your own home, or in our ambulatory infusion suite.
What is heart failure?
Heart Failure (HF) is not cardiomyopathy (heart disease), but a condition occurring as a result of cardiomyopathy. Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively to maintain body requirements. Blood pools or backs up into non-cardiac regions causing congestion, often occurring in the lungs (left-sided heart failure), or peripherally (right-sided heart failure).
If the heart muscle grows too weak to force incoming blood back out to the body at the same pace it arrives, congestive heart failure has taken hold. As blood backs up in the veins and lungs, fluid begins to seep into surrounding tissues. Reduced blood flow to the kidneys compounds the problem, undermining their ability to keep excess fluid in check. The results are signature symptoms of heart failure: fluid-induced shortness of breath and swelling in the ankles, feet, and fingers.
Early HF is often managed with oral medications, exercise, and dietary changes. Chronic “decompensated” HF patients are those who no longer respond to conventional treatment, resulting in their need for transplantation or end-of-life care.
What causes heart failure?
Heart failure typically happens in a gradual progression, and rarely occurs suddenly. It can be caused by a number of conditions, including:
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Congenital heart defects (present at birth)
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart damage from alcohol or drug abuse
- Heart muscle disease
- Heart valve infection or disease
- High blood pressure
- History of heart attacks
- Lung disease
- Thyroid disorders
The Critical Care Systems difference: our comprehensive approach to care
- We develop a customized plan of care focused on your needs
- Our locally based team ensures consistency in patient care and customer service
- We provide 24/7 access to pharmacists and registered nurses specifically trained to administer and manage inotropic therapy
- We provide comprehensive therapy management, including disease-specific patient training and educational materials
- We administer the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure® quality of life questionnaire
- We schedule home infusions at your convenience
- We provide ongoing patient evaluation, monitoring, and trending of lab values
- Benefits research services, with an explanation to the patient or patient’s caregiver of any financial responsibility he/she may have
- Prior authorization determination
- Our local ambulatory infusion suite provides a comfortable and convenient treatment option