Heart Failure Is Not Just Happening To The Elderly

Heart failure (HF) accounts for nearly 2 hospitalizations every minute in the U.S.  Beth Davidson, a HF nurse practitioner in Nashville, TN, and President of the American Association of HF Nurses discusses HF, symptoms, the seriousness of HF hospitalization, and treatment and lifestyle tips that may help patients or a loved one manage the condition. She is joined by Kim , who at 32 was shocked to be diagnosed with HF.  She is now 53 and shares her story and how she is successfully managing her HF today. 

Beth Davidson, DNP, ACNP, CHFN, CCRN, FHFSA. Beth Towery Davidson is Director of the Heart Failure Disease Management Program at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, TN. She is also adjunct faculty for Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She has more than 20 years’ experience in cardiac and critical care nursing, and has worked as a clinical nurse specialist, heart transplant coordinator, and nurse practitioner providing care to patients with cardiac diagnoses. She has published and presented on the topics of heart failure, mechanical circulatory support, and transplantation. Beth is currently serving her second term as President of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses.

Kim, 53, is a former director of the YMCA in her community, homemaker, and part-time CPR instructor. About 20 years ago, Kim was referred to a lung specialist by her primary care physician after having a persistent cough that wouldn’t go away. The specialist advised Kim to visit the ER right away, as she appeared to be turning blue. Upon her arrival in the ER, Kim slipped into a coma for three days and was diagnosed with myocarditis and chronic heart failure (HF). She endured frequent HF hospitalizations over the next several years, which led to her decision to leave her job. As a single mother of a son, Kim was
shocked and scared by the diagnosis and hospitalizations. Nearly two decades after her diagnosis, Kim’s cardiologist started her on a new medication, and while treatment impacts everyone differently, she has not been hospitalized for HF since. She is able to manage her HF through medications, a well-balanced diet, and regular physical activity–including golfing and water aerobics. She is also spending a lot of time redesigning her home. She is an active member of her community’s American Heart Association chapter,
and hopes to help other HF patients by sharing her story.

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