Oxford Health supporting Heart Failure Awareness Week
May 2-8 is the Heart Failure Awareness Week, and Oxford Health is supporting this important campaign.
British Society for Heart Failure campaigns for better understanding of the condition and early diagnosis. Their Freedom from Failure – The F Word campaign has been developed to inform and educate whilst inspiring a sense of hope and encouraging each of us to learn more about this condition, recognise symptoms in ourselves and our loved ones and to seek timely medical help.
Understanding Heart Failure with Brian Blessed
Actor Brian Blessed OBE is an ambassador for the British Society of Heart Failure and has made this short film about the condition.
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is the reduced ability of the heart to pump blood around the body properly. Heart failure does not mean your heart has stopped working. But hearts do fail, and the diagnosis can be devastating. Twenty years ago, there were very few treatments apart from palliative symptom relief for those with heart failure.
However, we have made incredible advances and now have a plethora of medications, devices and surgical interventions that can both extend and improve length of life and quality of life. The earlier people present with symptoms, the faster they can get access to heart failure specialist care and evidence-based treatment.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of heart failure are:
- Shortness of breath when you’re active or resting because you’re not getting enough oxygen.
- Swollen feet, ankles, stomach and around the lower back area, caused by fluid build-up
- Feeling unusually tired or weak because there’s not enough blood and oxygen getting to your muscles.
Oxford Health’s Heart Failure Nurse Specialist and Clinical Lead Jennifer Jay says:
“Heart failure is the only cardiovascular disorder with increasing incidence and prevalence. It is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and is estimated to account for 2% of the NHS budget with 60–70% of the costs driven by hospital admissions.”
Meet our team
Oxford Health’s Community Heart Failure Team are a team of eight nurses and one health care assistant, with specialist training and experience of supporting people in the community with a diagnosis of heart failure. The team are supported by an administrator.
Thet work in partnership with GPs, cardiologists and other health care professionals to:
- Support people with heart failure in the community, as well as their families and carers
- Support people to manage worsening symptoms of heart failure
- Support people with heart failure after being in hospital
- Support and educate people to manage their heart failure
- Review medication regimes regularly and make adjustments as required
- Offer palliative care and support for patients, relatives and carers when needed.
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Published: 2 May 2022