AHA emphasizes importance of patient-provider relationships
In January 2013, Cathy Aumack-Bandy’s doctor walked into her hospital room and announced to her husband that she had severe heart failure and should set her affairs in order immediately. At first, she thought he was in the wrong room. Then she thought it was time to change doctors.
"He never even addressed me," Aumack-Bandy, former psychologist from Ruskin, Florida, said. "Prior to this heart failure diagnosis, I had been a healthy 54-year-old. Now, it felt like he was sending me home to die."
There are approximately six million Americans who have heart failure and depend on their physicians to help them manage their lifelong, chronic health condition. With heart failure, the heart doesn’t pump adequate blood throughout the body.
"Establishing a bond of mutual respect and good communication with your doctor is crucial when dealing with a complex medical condition like heart failure," Dr. Mariell Jessup, former president of the AHA and professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said. "If patients have to follow a complex regimen and they don't understand why, or the consequences of missing some pills or not recognizing new symptoms, they're not going to do well."
Organizations in this story
American Heart Association 7272 Greenville Ave Dallas, TX 75231-5129