What is Heart Failure?
Heart failure occurs when the heart doesn’t pump as efficiently as it should to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body. This results in fatigue, shortness of breath and fluid retention that can permanently damage your heart. This does not develop suddenly, but happens over time as the heart’s pumping ability declines and cannot keep up with the workload.
Diagnosing Heart FailureCardiologists use a variety of cardiac diagnostic tests to identify heart failure, including electrocardiography (ECG or EKG), ultrasound (echocardiography) and cardiac catheterization.
Treating Heart Failure
Treatment options include:
- Medications: pills or intravenous medications to control heart failure symptoms
- Diet and lifestyle changes: eating a low sodium, low fat diet and adding a workout routine
- Treatment of irregular heart rhythms: including implantable devices like a pacemaker or cardioverter-defibrillator
- Cardiac surgery or stenting: to replace valves or unblock arteries
- Heart Transplant
- Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD): or other mechanical support
Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Heart Care
Our programs are accredited by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for Heart Failure, and seven hospitals received the high-performing rating for Heart Failure by U.S. News & World Report in 2023. Hackensack University Medical Center was ranked nationally for Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery by U.S. News & World Report, as well as earning the title as best Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery program in NJ in 2023.
Our program blends the expertise of a variety of experts, including physician assistants and advanced nurse practitioners, allied health professionals, physical therapists, social workers, registered dietitians, Magnet recognized nurses and many more to provide a comprehensive care plan focusing on the patient as the center.
Only five hospitals in New Jersey–all of which are part of Hackensack Meridian Health–have earned the elite distinction of being named a HeartCARE Center by the American College of Cardiology. This demonstrates our network’s tremendous commitment to providing quality heart care for our community.
After receiving care for heart failure, Natalie is making sure to focus on her health. “I am going to try to fight to keep living. I want to be there for my grandkids and my kids as long as I can.” - Natalie Santos
Our Cardiology Specialists
The combination of expert surgeons, advanced technology and array of heart care services makes Hackensack Meridian Health a trusted choice for patients and families in New Jersey.