HOSPITAL SERDANG EMPOWERS PATIENTS TO TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR HEART HEALTH
MAY 3, 2019 @11.25 AM
Heart failure has a crippling impact on patients' lives, as often they are not equipped with the knowledge of the disease and proper management of the condition. In this respect, empowering patients is important.
The Heart Failure Camp organised by the Department of Cardiology, Hospital Serdang with 40 patients and caregivers in attendance is the hospital’s first Heart Failure Camp and focused on the disease and ways to improve its management through talks, sharing sessions and practical activities.
Datuk Dr Abd Kahar Abd Ghapar, Head of Cardiology Department, Hospital Serdang said over 26 million people have heart failure worldwide and it is regarded as a disease with a high morbidity and mortality rate.
"While heart failure can affect anyone at any age, heart failure in South East Asian countries occur at a younger age compared to its Western counterparts. It is characterised by more severe clinical features, with vascular risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes. Asian patients with stable heart failure have also been shown to be at least a decade younger than European patients. As such, there is an urgent need to address the disease awareness in our country."
In Malaysia, heart failure is a common cause of hospitalisation and accounts for six to 10% of all medical admissions, with death occurring in one in 10 hospitalised patients.
“Heart failure refers to a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. However, many people mistakenly assume that the heart can no longer function when they hear of heart failure,” explained Dr Abdul Muizz Abd Malek, Consultant Cardiologist, Hospital Serdang.
“While being diagnosed with heart failure can be scary, it is possible for patients to lead a healthy and normal life with advancements in medication and technology, healthy lifestyle changes and support from family members,” he added.
There are a number of symptoms for heart failure, with the more common ones being breathlessness, ankle swelling and fatigue.
In Malaysia, coronary artery disease and hypertension have been identified as the main causes of heart failure, accounting for almost 70% of all cases. While prevention and early intervention is important, other measures including counseling patients and their family members about the disease, regulating diet and fluid intake, regular exercise and incorporating appropriate lifestyle changes such as adherence to medication, not smoking and abstinence from alcohol are also important to manage the condition.
“This inaugural Heart Failure Camp was organised with the Department of Cardiology, Hospital Serdang as a platform to address the growing concern of heart failure in Malaysia, given the increasing number of Malaysians being diagnosed with heart failure and the economic burden of the disease to patients, the local healthcare system, and society at large. There is an urgent need to empower heart failure patients and their caregivers with the right knowledge and understanding of the disease so that they can live longer and better lives,” said Dr Rohana Bt Johan, Director, Hospital Serdang.
In line with this, participants who attended the camp had the opportunity to take part in sessions on proper diet for heart failure patients and an introduction to light exercises that can be done at home. Additionally, participants had the opportunity to have a heart failure open dialogue session with a panel of doctors.
Insights from these experts demonstrated the need for holistic management of heart failure via a strong multidisciplinary approach to help manage the disease, improve patient outcomes and ensure seamless overall patient care. The Heart Failure Camp also featured a patient sharing session to share insights into the day-to-day life of heart failure patients and how they have learned to managed their condition.
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