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New guidelines for global heart patient management

The first international guidelines for heart failure patient management, mainly before heart transplantation, by the International Society// for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) has been published in the Sept. 2006 issue of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. These complete and global guidelines will help overcome the present principles failures and will guide practicing physicians and cardiologists worldwide.

The severe state in which the heart fails to pump sufficient blood into the body is called heart failure. According to the statistical data from the National Heart Lung Blood Institute and other sources, nearly 100 million people around the world suffer from heart failure and around 12 million new cases are reported every year.

Over the past decade, advancements in patient care with ventricular assist and other implantable devices, stem cell implants, biomedical developments and improved pharmaceutical management, have had a dramatic impact on care for heart failure patients. Taking these and other advancements into consideration, the new guidelines underscore the optimal process for managing heart failure patients prior to considering transplantation.

"The new guidelines will enhance the effectiveness of patient care, optimize patient outcomes, and improve the overall cost of patient care by focusing resources on the most effective strategies," said Mariell Jessup, M.D., ISHLT task force chair and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Our goal is to reach cardiologists and other physicians around the globe who don't currently have resources available to help treat their patients suffering with advanced heart failure," said Edoardo Gronda, M.D., ISHLT task force chair and Director of Clinical Cardiology and Heart Failure Unit, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Milan, Italy. "In turn, we are working to help standardize treatment for patients regardless of where they are located."


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