Hospice and Heart Disease
Hospice care helps end-stage congestive heart failure patients manage physical symptoms, anxiety and emotional needs.
Hospice care reduces hospital stays enabling a better quality of life.
Patients with end-stage congestive heart failure (CHF) and terminal heart disease often make frequent doctor’s office, ER and hospital visits for breathing difficulties, fluid retention and fatigue. *In fact, over one million people in the United States are admitted to inpatient settings for heart failure each year. One in four Medicare heart failure patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.
Many of these hospital visits could be prevented with the support of hospice care, but cardiac patients and families are often unaware of the hospice support available for CHF patients while at home.
Hospice considers the following symptoms in cardiac patients when determining hospice eligibility.
- Ejection fraction <20% (not required, but an important consideration)
- A poor response to diuretics and vasodilators
- Difficulty or labored breathing
- Chest pain
- Changes in appetite, unintentional weight loss
- Impaired sleep functions
- Decline in general physical endurance