According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, more than 1 million adults in the United States are living with congenital heart defects. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. More than 35,000 babies are born each year in the United States with congenital heart defects. Most people who have complex heart defects continue to need special heart care throughout their lives.
During American Heart Month, it’s a good time to learn a little bit more about congenital heart defects. Here are some frequently-asked-questions.
What is congenital heart disease and how is it different from other kinds of heart disease?
Congenital heart disease is a condition with which you are born. Other kinds of heart disease may develop over time, whether through infection, coronary artery disease, trauma or other reasons.
Does congenital heart disease always cause a problem?
Just as there are different kinds of patients, there are different kinds of hospitals. Kindred Transitional Care Hospitals provide a wide range of services to help patients with complex medical issues who need additional recovery time after a stay at a traditional hospital. While every patient receives individualized care from a team of healthcare professionals, our goal is for each person to reach the highest level of recovery before discharge.
With our Direct Admit Program, physicians can admit medically complex patients from short-term acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health and other service providers directly to a Kindred Hospital. We work directly with physicians to make sure their patients have a smooth transition into our hospitals and the highest level of care continuity to prevent future readmissions.
According to the Measure Applications Partnership, which provides input to the Department of Health and Human Services, effective care transitions and coordination across levels of care should be factored into long-term care performance metrics, as should advanced care planning and evaluating safety issues. Read the story
Medicare prescription protections keep the cost of some drugs -- like anti-rejection medicines for transplant patients -- down, and while some argue that the availability of generics makes the protections unnecessary, others worry that doing away with them would affect access for poor or older patients. Read the story
The number of people who support a dying patient and his or her family's right to allow a peaceful death whether through the withdrawal of life-saving treatments or, in some cases, the administering of medications that can hasten the process, is rising, though it is only legal in a few states. Read the story
February 9 -15, 2014 is National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week.
It may be time to leave the hospital, but you may not be ready to return directly home after recovering from a heart attack. If you need extra care, your physician may send you to a Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for our Cardiac Specialty Program. Our services help you transition from hospital to home as quickly and safely as possible, and reduce the likelihood that you’ll need to go back to the hospital.
When you are injured or ill, you may need rehabilitation services to help in recovery. Rehabilitation helps you improve your body’s functions, but there are different levels of services depending on your medical condition. Our Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals (also known as IRFs) are for patients who need a higher level of care and more intense occupational, physical and speech therapy.
Patients in a Kindred Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital are medically stable, but also need 24-hour nursing care and daily physician oversight. They are considered able to perform at least three hours of therapy a day, five days a week. Our goal is to restore function as fully as possible, and help the patient learn how to do things differently when functions can’t be restored to previous levels.
During a Google hangout, the president fielded questions and criticisms from participants disappointed with the Obamacare rollout. Read the story
The rollout was a problem because the website wasn’t working properly. I will say that in all these big programs … there are going to be some glitches involved. -- President Obama
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin collecting more data on hospice care provided in skilled nursing facilities, effective April 1, 2014. Read the story
While patients used to have to wait to hear from a doctor about lab results, a new rule will allow them easier and direct access to the results without a physician middleman, but those critical of the rule say many patients won't know what to do with the information. Read the story
A Pew Research Center study found that almost half of Americans polled said the elderly themselves bore the most responsibility for their own care. Read the story
Looking for a good read? Forget about asking for recommendations on Facebook; if you’re a woman, pick up The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, published by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, says Kindred nurse practitioner Claire Spence. Spence, a transitional care nurse in Kindred’s Indianapolis Integrated Care Market, has a special interest in matters of the heart and especially in helping women keep their hearts healthy.
“Every woman should read this book,” Spence says. It educates about risk factors and signs and symptoms of a problem, and includes vignettes about real women in a highly readable format, she says, and it includes life style modification recommendations including tips for losing weight, exercising, smoking cessation and getting healthier.
The first full week in February is Burn Awareness Week. This year, the American Burn Association is focusing on the issue of scalds – a common burn injury – to raise awareness and increase prevention.
Kathleen Tsalopoulos, East Regional Wound Nurse with Kindred's Nursing Center Division, shared information regarding scald injuries and offered tips on prevention.
Scald injuries can affect people of all ages, but older adults and those with a disability are particularly vulnerable. Scalding burns are usually a result of spills, splashes, immersion or contact with hot liquids. Older adults have thinner skin, so hot liquids cause deeper wounds even with brief exposure. Additionally, their ability to feel heat may be reduced due to medical conditions or medications.
Older patients with cancer tended to fare worse on examination by geriatricians than did their counterparts without cancer, according to a review of studies. The findings suggest that geriatric assessments may have a role in cancer care and in overall well-being. Read the story
A new Web site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is dedicated to reducing infection rates in long-term care facilities. Topics include antibiotic stewardship, dialysis safety and hand hygiene. Read the story
A new proposal, part of the Affordable Care Act, seeks to limit the number of antidepressants and anti-psychotics available to seniors under Medicare. The goal is to reduce costs and curb potential over-use of those drugs, officials say. Read the story
When Edward came to a Kindred Hospital, he was on a ventilator after respiratory complications following major surgery. Edward is one of many patients who need extra care and more time to recover after a short-term hospital stay. Kindred Hospital is part of a nationwide network of Kindred Transitional Care Hospitals that help bridge the gap between short-term hospitalization and home.
Many of the patients we see can’t breathe on their own, or they have a condition that makes them prone to more complications with an illness or injury. Kindred Hospitals have been focused on these medically complex patients for more than two decades. We helped develop the long-term model of care for patients who can’t get better during a short-term stay. Our facilities and services are designed to provide this extra level of care, and every patient has a team of healthcare professionals dedicated to achieving the fullest and quickest recovery possible.
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