July 6, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For many congestive heart failure patients, excess fluid builds up in various locations in the patient’s body and can eventually lead to reductions in the amount of oxygen entering the blood, causing shortness of breath and discomfort.
Clinicians at The Ohio State University Medical Center’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital are among a few in Ohio successfully using a new therapy designed to quickly and efficiently remove excess fluid from patients, and the technology is available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.
“This new approach offers another option for patients to help manage their congestive heart failure,” says Dr. Garrie Haas, medical director for heart failure at Ohio State’s Medical Center. “Our goal is to help patients feel better more quickly by removing excess fluid that often builds up despite large doses of water pills. Our hope is that resolving congestion with this technology will improve our patients’ quality of life while achieving better outcomes.”
As a complement to diuretics and drug therapies, ultrafiltration therapy removes excess salt and water while helping restore a patient’s fluid balance. Physicians can specify and adjust the exact amount and rate of fluid to be removed from each patient, resulting in a gradual reduction without a significant clinical impact on blood pressure, heart rate or electrolyte balance.
The technique involves the removal of blood through peripheral or central venous catheters. Salt and water are filtered from the blood gradually through a console containing two pumps. The excess is collected in a special bag, while the blood is safely reintroduced to the body. Treatment duration depends on the patient’s condition, with the average procedure length being 24-72 hours in the inpatient setting and 8 hours in the outpatient setting.
Heart failure affects approximately five million Americans and is responsible for one million annual hospitalizations, more than all forms of cancer and heart attacks combined. More than 500,000 new cases of heart failure are diagnosed each year.
The ultrafiltration therapy was developed by CHF Solutions, Brooklyn Park, MN.
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