Heart Failure Care

Turn to the experienced and compassionate experts at Essentia Health to diagnose and treat heart failure. You can count on Essentia’s team to provide individualized care, education, and support so you can manage your health and enjoy daily activities.

What’s Heart Failure?

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Treatment can improve your symptoms and help you live longer.

LVAD to Treat Heart Failure

If your heart needs help to pump blood, you may receive a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD. This is a mechanical, battery-operated pumping device that’s placed during surgery. It can help prevent the need for a heart transplant.

Heart Failure Symptoms

Talk to your primary care doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain or heartbeat changes
  • Chronic cough
  • Dizziness
  • Gaining three pounds in one day
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Thinking problems

You may be referred to a heart specialist if your primary care doctor believes you are experiencing heart failure.

Heart Failure Program in Duluth, MN and Brainerd, MN 

Rely on Essentia’s heart failure specialists to help you live well with heart failure. We’ll closely track your symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed so you can stay as healthy, independent, and comfortable as possible.

Comprehensive Care

When you enroll in Essentia’s Heart Failure program, your health care team can help you:

  • Manage medications
  • Make appointments with members of your health care team
  • Receive outpatient diuretic infusion therapy
  • Live a heart-healthy lifestyle with diet and activity recommendations
  • Find community resources and support groups
  • Strengthen your heart through cardiac rehabilitation

Heart Monitoring at Home

Feel confident that any changes in your condition will be detected quickly when you participate in telemonitoring. This technology allows your care team to keep an eye on your health even when you are at home. You may use:

  • Cardiocom – A telemonitoring system that monitors your weight
  • OnTrack – An iPad self-management tool
  • Cardiomems – An implantable sensory device

Heart monitoring from home Video Transcript

Text, Home Heart Monitoring. Here with Jack. Here with you. A golf ball is set on a tee, as a club prepares to take its swing. Text, Jack, heart patient. Jack, wearing a white jacket, sits in a golf cart next to a woman wearing a yellow shirt.

JACK PARPALA: I am Jack Parpala. I'm a heart patient at Essentia Health. BOBBIE GROSS:

Bobbie Gross, heart failure nurse practitioner, speaks to the camera.

I'm Bobbie Gross. I'm a nurse practitioner in the cardiology department at a Essentia Health in Duluth. We're monitoring jack through the heart center with his pacemaker, and also, through a heart-failure telemonitoring scale. JACK PARPALA: It's really amazing what they can do. BOBBIE GROSS: And with that scale, we can tell if he's gaining any heart-fluid volume, and then also, if he's got increasing symptoms that would be related to any heart-failure symptoms and such. He's at home-- he just steps up on a scale every day. And then the machine actually asks him a series of questions-- whether or not he's having those certain symptoms. And then he just presses a button that says, yes he is, or, no he's not. And then, again, his weight comes in every day then, too, in addition to the monitoring of those symptoms. If there's problems with any of that, then we give him a call and see how we can help him with that.

Jack maneuvers a golf cart down a pathway.

JACK PARPALA: Whatever direction she gives me, and I do it, and I'm back on the road again.

Steve Carlson, family medical physician, speaks to the camera.

STEVE CARLSON: name is Steve Carlson. I'm family medicine. And I work out in West Hills clinic. I do primary care for all ages-- little kids to old kids. The change that I see in Jack from a few years ago to now is just delightful because I go in there, and I'm not really worried that he's going to be feeling awful. Yeah, I'm still looking for stuff. I want to make sure that stuff doesn't get away from me. But I'm pretty confident that he's going to be feeling OK. BOBBIE GROSS: I think their quality of life is better knowing that they're not having to come in to see their physicians or other health-care providers so frequently. STEVE CARLSON: the same time that I was starting to work with Jack, I was starting to work with our nurse-care coordinator, who started organizing things for Jack and organizing things for me. This was the person who could call Jack and say, how are you doing, what's up, how did the medicine work, are you feeling any better-- that sort of thing. And then she would come to me, and say, here's what's going on. This is what we're doing at this point in time. And now, when I see him in the office, it's easy because now we just talk. And I say, what do we need to do different? He says, don't change a thing. BOBBIE GROSS: In the future, there's a lot of technology coming forward that we can get even more information than what we're getting right now. And I think that just gives patients the peace of mind that either they're doing OK or somebody is really watching them. JACK PARPALA: I'm living a normal life now. And I still go golfing two or three times a week. STEVE CARLSON: able to bring things as close to healthy as possible is what's going to give somebody quality of life and length of life.

Jack, Bobbie Gross, Dr. Carlson, and two other providers pose for a photograph near a large window. The Essentia Health logo rotates and appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Here with you.

Prevent Hospital Admissions

Work with your care team to manage your heart failure and stay out of the hospital. Our patients have an 80 percent decrease in hospital admissions and visits to the emergency room during their first year in the Heart Failure Program compared to the national average.

Make an Appointment

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