Palliative Care in Heart Failure Patients: The Time and Place

    Presentation at HFSA 12th Annual Scientific Meeting highlights holistic
    care as giving new hope to heart failure patients

    TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ -- Dr. Sarah J. Goodlin, a geriatrician and
palliative care physician in Salt Lake City, UT presented "Hope in the
Hopeless Situation: Palliative Care," today at the 12th Annual Scientific
Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA). This presentation
focused on palliative care as a way of improving quality of life and dignity
in death for patients suffering from heart failure. Palliative care takes a
holistic approach in relieving symptoms while reducing stress for patients and
their families and to help patients obtain the best possible quality of life
while living with heart failure. Palliative care includes making informed
decisions between doctor, patient and family.
    "Palliative care is a relatively new concept but an important one that
has proven its benefits," said Dr. Barry Greenberg, HFSA President, and
Professor of Medicine, and Director, Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Program,
University of California, San Diego. "As health care professionals it is
crucial that we continue to expand our ability to provide care which improves
the quality of life for patients throughout an illness, and to reduce pain and
suffering associated with heart failure, in conjunction with other prescribed
    Palliative care differs from hospice care in that it is not only for the
terminally ill, but also part of routine care for patients. Goodlin focused on
defining palliative care as a way to re-frame the concept of hope for those
with heart failure, in communicating with patients regarding their personal
hopes for care, and setting goals and a plan that incorporates both the best
possible hopes for the patient, while also helping patients and families plan
for the future as the disease progresses. Goodlin also discussed that
alleviating patient symptoms associated with heart failure can be better
managed when palliative care is incorporated as part of the treatment plan.
Common symptoms of those suffering with heart failure include shortness of
breath, fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia. (Pain is also very common
in heart failure patients, and requires a different approach from pain in
patients without heart failure).
    Goodlin also touched upon the need for more research in the area of
palliative care. "This is not something that has been well-addressed in
medicine, especially in heart failure," she said. "Organizations like HFSA are
now starting to recommend guidelines for palliative care as part of heart
failure management. Recent evidence has shown that palliative care approaches
work well and can improve quality of life for patients with heart failure."
    For a complete list of annual meeting sessions or for details on
attending the conference, call (617) 226-7198 or visit and click
on Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no registration fee for accredited
journalists. Interview areas will be available on-site in addition to a
fully-staffed press room with phone and internet accessibility.
    About Heart Failure
    Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle
becomes weakened after it is injured from heart attack or high blood pressure
and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's
needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because the symptoms
are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure affects from 4.6
to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic and clinical
evidence strongly suggest the prevalence of heart failure will increase
throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was considered a
"death sentence;" however, recent advances in treatment have shown that early
diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition are key to slowing,
stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving quality of life,
and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart failure, please
    About the Heart Failure Society of America
    The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational
organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart
failure experts. Today HFSA has over 1,700 members and provides a forum for
all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient
care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA,
NIH, NHLBI, CMS). The HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting is designed to highlight
recent advances in the development of strategies to address the complex
epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues of heart failure. Additional
information on HFSA can be found at

For further information:

For further information: Kaitlyn Siner, +1-617-226-7192, or cell
+1-401-339-0954,; or Ben Hendricks,
+1-617-226-7183, or cell +1-919-522-2978,,
both of Bell Pottinger USA for Heart Failure Society of America Web Site:       

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