Guthrie has recently become affiliated with Temple’s Advanced Heart Failure program, a partnership that connects patients with advanced heart services, according to Guthrie Cardiovascular Services Chief Dr. Daniel Sporn.
“There’s a certain level of care we’re able to provide here. One of the things we don’t do here, and most centers don’t, is heart transplant. Temple is very advanced at that sort of treatment, so if we have a patient that is very ill and needs a treatment like a heart transplant, now we can easily refer them there and they can come back and have their follow up care.”
Sporn noted that this partnership would help keep these heart patients from having to go outside of the region to get the best care.
“We have conferences with them,” he continued. “We’ll have heart failure physicians from Temple that will be coming up and educating us further as well.”
Sporn highlighted this new affiliation during a media event focused on “broken heart syndrome” with Valentine’s Day coming up.
Broken heart syndrome is also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, due to stress causing dysfunction or failure of the heart.
“It could be suddenly someone in the family has died, it could be financial stress. Sometimes someone could get very sick with a bad infection and get this,” Sporn explained. “The good news is usually it’s a temporary thing, a month later people are feeling better, but some people can get quite sick with this.”
According to Sporn, broken heart syndrome was first diagnosed 30 years ago and can produce symptoms similar to a heart attack with chest pains and shortness of breath. Between 1% and 2% of those who enter the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital suspecting a heart attack, or about one a week, end up diagnosed with stress-induced cardiomyopathy.
“We just saw one yesterday (Tuesday),” he noted.
“We know if affects women much more often than men — 90% of cases are in women, typically post-menopausal women 60 years and older,” Sporn continued. “The main thing is to avoid stress, which isn’t easy to do. Even a severe argument can cause this.”
This week is also National Heart Failure Awareness Week.