Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Diagnosis and Management of Heart Failure in Elderly Patients from Hospital Admission to Discharge: Position Paper.

Damy T, Chouihed T, Delarche N, Berrut G, Cacoub P, Henry P, Lamblin N, Andrès E, Hanon O J Clin Med. 2021;10(16).

Multidisciplinary management of worsening heart failure (HF) in the elderly improves survival. To ensure patients have access to adequate care, the current HF and French health authority guidelines advise establishing a clearly defined HF patient pathway. This pathway involves coordinating multiple disciplines to manage decompensating HF. Yet, recent registry data indicate that insufficient numbers of patients receive specialised cardiology care, which increases the risk of rehospitalisation and mortality. The patient pathway in France involves three key stages: presentation with decompensated HF, stabilisation within a hospital setting and transitional care back out into the community. In each of these three phases, HF diagnosis, severity and precipitating factors need to be promptly identified and managed. This is particularly pertinent in older, frail patients who may present with atypical symptoms or coexisting comorbidities and for whom geriatric evaluation may be needed or specific geriatric syndrome management implemented. In the transition phase, multi-professional post-discharge management must be coordinated with community health care professionals. When the patient is discharged, HF medication must be optimised, and patients educated about self-care and monitoring symptoms. This review provides practical guidance to clinicians managing worsening HF in the elderly.

DOI: 10.3390/jcm10163519