United States

Heart Failure Clinic Keeps Plano Woman on Right Track

Heart failure, also called congestive heart failure, is when the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it needs to.

About 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure.

A Plano woman credited her time at a heart failure clinic for helping her live with the condition.

Carolyn Jones described the heart attack that put her in the hospital as "very scary."

Her grandchildren stayed by her bedside as she recovered from bypass surgery, but the damage had been done. The heart attack damaged her heart and put her in congestive heart failure.

"It is important to get them on a regimen that will help the heart failure and sometimes people will recover completely with adequate therapy," said Dr. John Duncan, cardiologist and Medical Director of the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic at Medical City Plano.

To get adequate therapy, Jones joined the new heart failure clinic inside Medical City Plano.

Her family made sure she went to her appointments at the outpatient clinic, where trained staff made sure she took her medications and exercised.

"Rather than going to the doctor's office, then having to go somewhere to get an X-ray, then go to some place to get a lab work, it can all be done in one place and makes it much easier and quicker to evaluate the patients," Duncan said.

After a few months, Jones' symptoms dramatically improved and now, she said she was on track to live a normal life. 

 "I want to be here for my grand babies!" she said.

Symptoms of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs and rapid heart beat.

In younger people, doctors said, heart failure can look like the flu and is often misdiagnosed.

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