Geriatric Heart Failure

1140 Words 5 Pages
If there was a prize for being the most remarkable organ for function, the heart would certainly be a top candidate for the picking. As a generalization, most people only appreciate the heart when the heart fails to function properly. That is, the systemic effects from living with a failing heart would make anyone aware of just how important the function of this organ is. Advancements in technology and medications have improved the lives of those who suffer with heart failure, but the burden to the economy can also be felt. According to Blecker, Paul, Taksler, Ogedegbe & Katz (2013) heart failure accounts for four million hospitalizations per year in just the United States alone. Out of these hospitalizations, 72 was the mean age
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For one thing, the approach to treating a geriatric patient who suffers from heart failure should be different then treating someone with heart failure in their fifties because of anatomical changes leading to physiological changes. For example, elderly people with heart failure have a higher probability of cellular death of myocytes, impaired stem cell function, reduction in cellular divisions, impaired release of calcium and malfunctioning sarcoplasmic reticulum (Abete et al., 2013). These changes related to aging also effects how the medication will work for these patients. It goes without saying that metabolic changes occur with age, so we know that medication doses can be altered to accommodate for the slower breakdown of medications in geriatrics, but the ‘how to’ treat geriatrics with anatomical and physiological heart changes have left researchers with undefined answers on just what should be standardized care in these patients (Abete et al., …show more content…
This may be due in part to Medicare (which is the majority payer for hospitalized heart failure patients) reporting on the quality of care and use of evidence based practices (Blecker et al., 2013). So, what increased in prevalence after this? Secondary heart disease from other diseases processes like diabetes. Additionally, the management of care for these patients was shifted from being hospitalized to palliative home care. Consequently, the idea of forming a “geriatric” team who would manage care in heart failure patients, with a multidisciplinary approached one-to-one care has been purposed by attendees of the annual British Society of Heart Failure meeting (Duncan & Cunnington, 2012). This may be future standard practice. Moreover, advancements in tele-health may also prove to be effective in prevention of hospitalization due to an acute exacerbation in heart failure if the patient had a way to relay daily weights to their providers and report signs and symptoms of secondary conditions (Abete et al., 2013). Lastly, as mentioned before, medication research revolving around the elderly is limited because of multiple variables. What is known is drugs of first choice such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers are still under used in this population (Abete et al.,

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