COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body’s other organs, causing a buildup of fluid. A new treatment pioneered in Israel is now being used for the first time in the U.S. Researchers are testing a system designed to quickly remove extra fluid, helping patients feel better within hours.
Sixty-one year old Raynes “Ray” Rozelle has had more energy in the past few months than he has in years. He was often out of breath and weak.
“I usually help give out produce from the food pantry. And it got to the point where I couldn’t unload the trucks,” Rozelle told Ivanhoe.
Ray put off seeing a doctor, until his daughter Ebony insisted he go.
Rozelle explained that she said to him, “I’m not married. I want my father to walk me down the aisle. And right now, you don’t look like you’re going to be able to do that. So let’s go get it taken care of.”
Sitaramesh Emani, MD, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio diagnosed Ray with heart failure. A long history of heart disease left Ray’s heart unable to move blood to his kidneys. His system was filled with fluid. Dr. Emani asked if Ray would be willing to be the first in the U.S. to test a new treatment. Doctors started by inserting a catheter in the large vein in Ray’s neck.
“Through a series of special first small needles and then wires, we place the catheter into the vein and position it such that it surrounds the main lymphatic vessel,” Dr. Emani explained.
The catheter is hooked up to a console that allows blood to be pumped out of the body and then circulated back in. Extra fluid goes out through the kidneys.
“We saw improvements within the first thirty minutes.” Dr. Emani said.
Ray says he feels blessed he had the chance to be a medical groundbreaker.
“This will help somebody else. With that being said, I couldn’t help but do it,” Rozelle stated.
Ray Rozelle was connected to the machine for 12 hours. The current treatment for heart failure is diuretic medication, but doctors say diuretics sometimes only provide partial relief.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Gabriella Battistiol, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Kirk Manson, Videographer.
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TOPIC: FIRST IN THE U.S. HEART FAILURE TREATMENT
REPORT: MB #4264
BACKGROUND: Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood to help the function of other organs in the body. It is usually a sign of an underlying heart problem, and can also affect the normal function of the kidneys. When the kidneys cannot properly rid the body of waste, the body will retain excess fluid. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, weight gain, fatigue and swelling of lower extremities. Many conditions that cause heart failure can result in damage that could be irreversible, resulting in the need for a heart transplant or mechanical cardiac support. The severity of symptoms and the condition depends on how badly the heart is failing to pump properly.
STANDARD TREATMENT: Since heart failure is a chronic disease, it requires lifelong management. With treatment, symptoms can improve and sometimes the heart does become stronger. Doctors can sometimes correct heat failure by treating the underlying cause, such as controlling a fast heart rhythm or repairing a valve; however for most, it involves several medications and in some cases the use of devices that help the heart contract properly. Sometimes heart failure flare-ups may result in hospitalization, where patients can then get help to make the heart pump better and relieve symptoms. Supplemental oxygen may be required long term if the heart failure is severe enough.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: A new trial procedure involves inserting a specially designed catheter to improve the flow of fluid from the lymphatic system. Lymphatic vessels help remove fluid from the tissue and return it to the body’s circulatory system, and then excess fluid is eliminated by the kidneys. The lymphatic system typically drains up to two gallons of fluid per day. When someone has congestive heart failure, this liquid builds up in other areas of the body. The catheter is placed in the neck in a catheterization lab, and treatment occurs bedside using a machine that helps circulate the blood. This new approach can more efficiently and effectively treat patients, improving their quality of life and possibly reduce future re-hospitalizations.
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