Heart Failure (cont.)
In this Article
Treatment Is a Team Effort
Heart failure management is a team effort, and you are the key player on the team. Your heart doctor will prescribe your medications and manage other medical problems. Other team members, including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists and social workers, will help you achieve success. But it is up to YOU to take your medications, make dietary changes, live a healthy lifestyle, keep your follow-up appointments, and be an active member of the team.
What Is the Outlook for People With Heart Failure?
With the right care, heart failure will not stop you from doing the things you enjoy. Your prognosis or outlook for the future will depend on how well your heart muscle is functioning, your symptoms, and how well you respond to and follow your treatment plan.
Everyone with a long-term illness, such as heart failure, should discuss their desires for extended medical care with their doctor and family. An "advance directive" or "living will" is one way to let everyone know your wishes. A living will expresses your desires about the use of medical treatments to prolong your life. This document is prepared while you are fully competent in case you are unable to make these decisions at a later time.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute (2006).
Edited by Cynthia Haines, MD, October 1, 2005, WebMD.
Last Editorial Review: 12/14/2007