Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to meet the needs of the body's other organs. The heart keeps pumping, but not as efficiently as a healthy heart. Usually, the heart's diminished capacity to pump reflects a progressive, underlying condition. Heart failure can result from many different causes including damage from heart attacks, birth or congenital defects, infections, diabetes, hypertension and unknown causes.
About the Heart Failure Center
The Heart Failure Center is a center of excellence dedicated to the treatment of the disease of heart failure from all causes. Our primary goal is to improve the quality of life of those suffering from this disease process.
Our program takes a proactive approach through patient education, medications, and procedures, including cutting-edge medical advancements designed to return a patient’s heart to normal function.
The Heart Failure Center, led by Dr. Pamela Craven, uses a team approach to diagnosis and treatment by working with interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons. The Heart Failure Center clinic consists of a physician, nurse practitioner and/or physician assistant, multiple registered nurses and medical assistants. This team approach also involves nutritionists, physical therapists, exercise therapists and cardiac rehabilitation programs.
The initial consultation will focus on establishing the cause of the heart failure as well as initial treatment plan to improve quality of life. The Heart Failure Center has the ability to follow patients with frequent clinic visits as well as at home monitoring to optimize recovery. Treatments may include cutting edge devices such as biventricular pacemakers and internal defibrillators as well as combinations of medications. Monitoring may include devices such as the CardioMems monitoring system which allows detection of fluid retention before the patient becomes aware of the change so we can intervene before symptoms appear.
The Oklahoma Heart Hospital Heart Failure Center was the first in Oklahoma to implant the CardioMEMS Champion Heart Failure Monitoring System.
The Heart Failure Center takes an active role in participating in clinical research trials and studying new treatments for this disease process. In this way, Dr. Pamela Craven and Oklahoma Heart Hospital’s Heart Failure Center stays at the cutting edge of scientific discoveries for the treatment of Heart Failure.
The Evolution of Therapies for Heart Failure
Just 30 years ago, the hope for survival in patients with heart failure was dismal and centered on heart transplantation as the ultimate therapy when in fact, only one in 25,000 patients with heart failure would benefit from a heart transplant. In the last decade, a new cardiovascular specialty has begun to emerge with the possibility of managing left ventricular dysfunction, reversing myocardial damage and prolonging life in patients who previously had been given no realistic hope for survival.
Subsequently, therapies for patients with chronic heart failure have evolved rapidly. Medical and device therapies are now available that reduce symptoms, reverse the progress of left ventricular dysfunction and, most importantly, improve long-term survival without the need for heart transplantation.
Consultations are accepted by referral from the patient’s primary care provider or primary cardiologist. Our team will work closely with the referring physician to manage the heart failure, coordinating care for their other cardiac and medical problems.