Diagnosis: Heart failure
It all began when Urs Bürgi started having breathing difficulties. Even tying his shoes became an ordeal. The diagnosis? Heart failure, caused by a too thick heart muscle pressing on the heart valve. "An operation was never an option for me due to my age," says the former postman from Kestenholz. As a result, he’s had to learn to manage an illness which only became apparent after retirement.
The CARE4CARDIO® health programme offered by CSS is of great help to him. "It gives me assurance," says the 78-year-old. Having been equipped with a health monitor, he answers questions every morning at home about the main symptoms of heart failure, such as oedema, and checks his weight every day using the electronic scales supplied.
This tele-monitoring system allows any alarm signals, such as a sudden increase in weight due to water retention, to be detected at an early stage. The specialised CARE4CARDIO® nursing staff can then respond quickly. In addition, a telephone consultation is held every four to six weeks. "This is when I can settle any questions I have right away," says Urs Bürgi. Thanks to CARE4CARDIO® he is well informed about all aspects of cardiac insufficiency, which encourages him to take regular exercise in the fresh air on flat terrain despite his symptoms: "to pick mushrooms, for example, which is one of my passions," he enthuses. In this way, the health programme not only helps to soon recognise any deterioration in the patient’s health, it also increases their independence and reduces hospital stays.
Do you have heart failure?
Typical symptoms of heart failure are lower physical performance levels, fatigue, shortness of breath and water retention in the tissue. Heart failure should not be confused with other conditions such as high blood pressure or a heart attack. Take the Swiss Heart Foundation test: www.schwachesherz.ch