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Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms and Causes

News and Blog for Collaborative, connected carre with Redwood Health Partners

Congestive Heart Failure Causes and Symptoms


Heart failure is most often a long-term chronic condition. The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease, a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Heart failure is present when your heart muscle is no longer able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood out to the rest of your body. As the heart pumping becomes less effective, blood may back up in other areas of the body. Fluid may build up in the lungs, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and the arms and legs.

  • Cough
  • Need to urinate at night
  • Fatigue, weakness, faintness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pulse that feels fast or irregular
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen liver or abdomen
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Waking up from sleep
  • Weight gain

Monitoring and Self Care

If you have heart failure, your doctor will monitor you closely. You will have follow-up appointments at least every 3 to 6 months, as well as, tests to check your heart function. Knowing your body and the symptoms that your heart failure is getting worse will help you stay healthier and out of the hospital.

  • Watch for changes in your heart rate, pulse, blood pressure and weight/li>
  • Limit how much salt you eat
  • Limit how much fluid you drink if recommended by your doctor
  • Ask your doctor how much alcohol you may drink
  • Do not smoke
  • Stay active, walk or ride a stationary bike
  • Ask your doctor to provide a safe and effective exercise plan for you
  • Do not exercise on days when your weight has gone up from fluid or you are not feeling well
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Lower your cholesterol by changing your lifestyle
  • Get enough rest, including after exercise, eating, or other activities

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you develop:

  • Increased cough or phlegm
  • Sudden weight gain or swelling
  • Weakness or light-headedness
  • Other new or unexplained symptoms

Care Transitions: Better Access to Care Means Better Health

News and Blog for Collaborative, connected carre with Redwood Health Partners


Care Transitions: Better Access to Care Means Better Health

Care Transitions - Redwood Tree (image)

Recently, Walmart announced that it would open primary care clinics in its stores. The centers are staffed largely with physician extenders, the umbrella term for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Services are limited to preventive care, minor treatments, diagnosis of non-complex conditions and monitoring for chronic conditions.

Shortly thereafter, CVS Caremark, a national pharmacy chain changed its name to CVS Health. This coincided with its decision to stop selling tobacco products. CVS Health is also opening walk-in primary care offices; these started with providing flu and other vaccines and are expanding to provide services similar to the Walmart clinics.

I think this is just the beginning. Many retail stores, particularly those that have been involved in pharmacy, will be doing the same thing as will large employers like General Electric. Providing access to care and service early can improve quality, satisfaction and lower insurance costs. These clinics are geared to a society on the go. We want care when we need it or have the time to get it, not when our doctor has office hours!

Redwood Health Partners

What about seniors living at home? Our communities will soon be introduced to Redwood Health Partners, a new primary care practice located on site at Juniper Village. The goal of Redwood Health Partners is to provide easily accessible care and service from credentialed providers. Instead of the doctor coming when it is convenient for him or her, the Redwood Health Partners practitioners will have regular hours right in your community. They will use our electronic health record and will participate in care plan development and care conferences. They offer another resource for addressing chronic or emergent health issues.Redwood Health Partners will help us “nurture the spirit of life” by keeping people in their home doing the things they love as long as possible.

We will be describing this effort to coordinate many levels of care for you in your home over the next several months. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Redwood Health Partners, ask your Wellness team for a brochure!