Heart failure occurs in almost epidemic proportions, placing a huge burden on both the healthcare system, and sufferers and their families. This can only rise over coming years as the ageing population, particularly in industrialized countries, increasingly suffers from heart failure and its related comorbidities. The care of this group of patients has evolved significantly over recent years as our knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology of heart failure has developed. It has become evident that supportive care is integral to comprehensive heart failure care, and this book provides an evidence-based overview of heart failure aetiology, its management, and the supportive care required by patients throughout the course of their disease.
Supportive Care in Heart Failure integrates the complexities of heart failure care, bridging knowledge bases from cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, general medicine and palliative care. The book reviews essential information about epidemiology and pathophysiology of heart failure, and evidence-based medical, device, surgical and interdisciplinary management. It addresses the evaluation and management of quality of life, common symptoms and problems associated with heart failure, and the holistic approach to supportive care throughout the course of the illness through the end of life. Prognostication, communication, and ethical decision making are reviewed in detail.
Heart failure has traditionally presented a challenge to physicians, as a generally progressive condition with significant symptoms, a poor quality of life, and high mortality. But by applying the principles of palliative medicine, it is possible to offer a supportive care approach that synthesizes the experience of both the heart failure specialist and the palliative care physician, and offers the best possible quality of care to this group of patients.