Paducahan Cecil “Bud” Gibbs, 76, can’t wait to get on the road again. Thanks to a new treatment at Western Baptist Hospital for congestive heart failure patients, he won’t have to wait long.
Gibbs, an over-the-road truck driver, entered Western Baptist earlier this year, following a 30-pound weight gain in less than two weeks. He felt as if he were drowning in fluid.
“I couldn’t walk, talk or eat,” said Gibbs. “It was difficult even to get a breath.”
Nephrologist Steven McCullough, M.D., and cardiologist J. Kenneth Ford, M.D., ordered a new therapy, Aquadex Flex Flow. The electronic pump, about the size of a parking meter, removes excess water and salt intravenously from the patient, while blood is funneled back into the body. In just three days, Gibbs lost nearly 26 pounds of fluid and was able to go home.
Congestive heart failure affects more than 55,000 Americans each year, causing the heart to lose ability to pump blood efficiently. When excess salt and water accumulate throughout the body, fluid builds up, causing rapid weight gain. Other symptoms are:
· Weakness or exhaustion with little exertion
· Shortness of breath
· Swelling in the abdomen, ankles or feet
· Confusion or trouble concentrating
· Dizziness or fainting
· Racing or irregular heartbeat
Gibbs, who developed congestive heart failure after having open-heart surgery in 2002, said the new therapy was remarkable.
“It saved my life,” said Gibbs. “I can’t wait to get back in my truck, and now I can return to the road with confidence about my health.”
Western Baptist offers Understanding Heart Failure, a series of classes for patients and/or their caregivers on the lifestyle changes needed to manage heart failure.
You may attend one or all of the four weekly classes. There is no charge, but advance registration is required. For upcoming class dates or more information, phone Baptist Health Line at (270) 575-2918.