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Doctors work to reduce reoccurance of heart failure

7:09 PM, Oct 24, 2011   |    comments
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By Kasey Joyce

St. Louis (KSDK) - One in four people who suffer from heart failure will be re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days with continued heart problems.

Doctors at Missouri Baptist are working to reduce those numbers.

"There's an active, ongoing problem that is almost epidemic," said Dr. Marc Lewen.

Dr. Lewen says he's seeing more and more patients suffering from heart failure, and often those patients have reoccurring problems.

"Then they're treated, they go home and within 30 days, they're back in the hospital," said Dr. Lewen.

Dr. Lewen is among the cardiologists at Missouri Baptist who are trying out a new plan to reduce those readmissions.

"The key for all of these people is education," he said.

He is working with patients to identify the causes of their heart failure, and educate them about how they can reduce their chances of having problems in the future. A nurse follows up 24 to 48 hours after the patient is discharged.

"What it does is not only identifies some of that information that has been missed, but it reinforces some of that information that was given when they were in the hospital," he said.

Lewen hopes that education will result in fewer future heart problems.


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