Friday, May 17, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Read more from just one of our extraordinary nurses, Amy B. Marzolf, MSN, CRNP, a Heart Failure Coordinator at the Penn Heart & Vascular Center. Amy talks a bit about the importance of outpatient nursing, care provided to patients who are not physically in the hospital, as just one of the critical pieces of the care cardiovascular patients receive at Penn Medicine.
From an outpatient perspective the nursing care patients receive is critical. We triage urgent calls, recognize early symptoms, follow up on plans of care, and monitor patients often over the phone for disease progression. In reality the outpatient nurses have a dynamic group of highly skilled, highly trained providers who are unbelievably talented at caring for patients when not even being able to physically see them on a daily basis. Having a team that is not only working hard when the patients are admitted, but dedicated to quality outpatient care is the key to reducing readmissions, preventing disease progression, advancing treatments, and fostering overall improved health and a better quality of life for the patients. Working with heart failure patients we understand the complexity of living with a chronic illness. It requires daily work that does not end when the patient leaves the hospital. It only just begins. As a heart failure nurse and now nurse practitioner I am able to support my patients throughout the spectrum of their illness.
At Penn Medicine, we are exceptionally proud of the nursing team at our three hospitals, and within our network. And in fact, the nursing care is recognized not only by our own teams, but also on a national level. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has achieved Magnet status – the highest institutional honor awarded for nursing excellence – from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Being recognized as a Magnet hospital is one of the highest achievements an organization can obtain in the world of professional nursing.
To all of our Heart & Vascular nurses - Thank you for everything you do, for your work as educators, researchers and care givers.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
"A seriously incorrect diagnosis at another hospital led me to Penn...and a great surgeon who returns emails."– Patricia Brough, 68 and proud grandmother of five
Their diagnosis? Asthma. No problem, go home, they said.
The next day I spoke to my son and he suggested I get a second opinion since I had never had asthma before. We decided to go to Penn because my dad always used to say, 'why go to the foot soldiers in NJ when you can go over the bridge to the generals at Penn?'
So I looked on the Internet and found Dr. Acker, a heart surgeon at Penn Medicine. I emailed him that day and within an hour, he personally emailed me back and referred me to a Penn cardiologist, Dr. Mariell Jessup. I called Dr. Jessup and she got me in right away, ran all kinds of tests and diagnosed me with heart failure. Basically, I needed a mitral valve replacement almost immediately – it wasn't asthma at all.
Thankfully, within the week, I had that surgery at Penn, and all was fine for years.
Then, in 2010, I suddenly got this terrible toothache and went to the hospital. To my surprise, it was a symptom of a heart attack. Once again, I had a pacemaker and defibrillator put in at Penn. Since then, I'm feeling great. I've been horseback riding and parasailing. I do everything I used to do, and more. I've gotten to see three of my grandchildren being born. I walk two miles a day. All because over a decade ago, Dr. Acker—someone who didn't even know me—answered my email. Penn saved my life.
Go With Your Heart
Friday, May 3, 2013
Ali Gorman R.N., 6 ABC's Action News Health & Medical reporter, speaks with Dr. Yuli Kim, Director of Penn Medicine's Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center, and Amy Verstappen of the Adult Congenital Heart Association.
In this feature story about congenital heart disease, Amy Verstappen tells 6 ABC that when she was born, doctors knew right away there was a problem. She had a congenital heart defect and like many, she was treated and then told all is well. As an adult, she continued to be told that there was no longer a problem with her heart. But shortly after giving birth, her heart started to fail.
A report from the Journal of the American Medical Association shows she's not alone. The report reads: "The frequency of hospitalizations for adults with congenital heart disease has grown at a rate more than twice that of children." That's why Amy started the Adult Congenital Heart Association.
Dr. Yuli Kim of Penn Medicine is one of only about 100 doctors nationwide formally trained to treat adult congenital heart disease.
Congenital heart conditions are different in adults than in children. Likewise, patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) experience cardiac problems differently than adults with acquired heart disease. That is why Penn Medicine and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) joined forces to create the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program.The program offers a team specially trained in the complex anatomy and heart function of adults with CHD, as well as the broad array of services and education necessary to manage their long-term complications.
Watch the video interview and read more on Action News.
Learn more about congenital heart disease and the Penn/CHOP Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Elliot was suffering from an aortic dissection. This serious heart condition results from a small tear in the inner wall of the aorta, causing blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart. If the dissection tears the aorta completely open (through all three layers), immense and rapid blood loss occurs.
Emergency Heart SurgeryAfter being rushed to a local hospital, it was determined that he needed emergency heart surgery. He was transferred to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP).
At HUP, Joseph Bavaria, MD, vice chief, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery and director, Thoracic Aortic Surgery Program, performed an open-heart procedure to have Gordon’s torn aorta removed and replaced with a synthetic graft.
"He needed an urgent intervention and the surgery itself is high risk," says Dr. Bavaria. "Half of patients suffering from an aortic dissection die before they even reach the hospital."
Thankfully for Gordon, Dr. Bavaria and the HUP OR team have extensive experience in complex aortic surgeries, with outcomes ranking among the best in the nation. After being rushed from the emergency transport, he was taken directly to the OR, where Dr. Bavaria and his team were able to accurately assess the situation and begin the operation.
His heart was in good handsDespite the grim odds, after several hours in surgery, he was transferred to the Heart & Vascular Intensive Care Unit to recover.
“The surgeons said I survived because my body was in such good shape. Had I not been training for Boston, I would have died.”
Gordon was not out of the woods yet. His recovery was difficult; he was on dialysis for about six months. Fortunately for Gordon, he was being cared for by a highly skilled, multidisciplinary team lead by cardiovascular surgery anesthesia intensivists, and received around-the-clock comprehensive care.
After a month and a half in the hospital, he was released in May 2009. He was 25 pounds lighter and because he was already so lean from decades of running, there wasn’t much fat to lose in the first place. The loss was all muscle -- he couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t stand, couldn’t walk.
Heart Healthy and Running AgainHe was given the okay to try light running again after six months, but it took over a year before he was finally able to jog slowly. In his first attempts back on a treadmill, he had many difficulties. But he was determined to get back to the sport he so loved and had dedicated decades of his life to.
On November 20, 2010 he ran his first “return” 8k since the operation. A year later, on November 12, 2011, he ran a 12k race. And in November 2012, Elliot signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon to run the half marathon. “Not very many people could, or would even attempt, to run a half marathon after this type of procedure,” says Dr. Bavaria. “His surgery went so well that it enabled him to keep going with his running. He really is a miracle man.”
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack, and each minute someone dies from a heart-disease related event.
To combat cardiovascular disease and educate the public about how to decrease their risk, Congress and the American Heart Association have proclaimed February to be American Heart Month.
There are many risk factors for heart disease, but the following are holding steady or even increasing.
Heart Disease Risk Factors:
ObesityThe percentage of overweight individuals, both adults and children, has been rising for several decades:
- 33.3 percent of adults are overweight
- 35.7 percent of adults are obese
- 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese
- 12.1 percent of children ages 2 through 5 are overweight
SmokingRaises the risk of coronary heart disease, and it remains highly prevalent:
- Smokers are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease
- More than 46 million U.S. adults are daily smokers
- About 4,000 people ages 12 to 17 begin smoking every day
DiabetesIt is projected that the prevalence of diabetes will continue to rise:
- 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people 20 years or older in 2010
- 79 million people have prediabetes, which greatly increases the risk of diabetes
If you are concerned about your heart health, Penn Medicine has advanced, personalized cardiovascular risk assessments, which include:
- Atherosclerosis imaging
- Genetic testing
- Advanced lipid testing
- 24-hour blood pressure monitoring
personalized cardiovascular risk assessments
Friday, February 1, 2013