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Heart Failure

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NEWS
October 27, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Heart failure is characterized by a heart muscle that is weak, stretched out, and flabby, and therefore unable to pump enough blood. Patients with advanced disease have trouble walking more than a few steps without gasping for breath. A new cuff-like device is designed to help patients by doing some of the pumping for them. The cuff is wrapped around the ascending aorta, and it contains a plastic balloon that squeezes in time with the patient's heartbeat, apparently providing relief to some patients in a small study published this month.
NEWS
July 27, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patients with heart failure engage in a delicate balancing act all year round, taking care not to drink too much liquid because the weakened heart muscle cannot cope with excess fluid. But what is a person supposed to do during those blast-furnace days of July and August? Perspiration depletes the body of fluids and electrolytes, such as potassium, that are needed for proper heart function. The patient, who is typically also taking a diuretic to excrete excess fluid, then feels the need to drink more water.
NEWS
September 2, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tyrone Conner's heart was in such bad shape that he could barely walk up a flight of steps. "I felt like I was 80 years old," said Conner, 50, of Norristown. He also suffered from sleep apnea, snoring heavily and gasping for breath every night. What he did not initially realize was that the two problems were linked. Conner's physicians, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, made the connection, but many do not. Sleep apnea afflicts as many as 60 percent of patients with heart failure - the term for a weakened heart muscle that cannot keep up with the body's demands.
SPORTS
December 3, 2012 | Daily News Wire Reports
RICK MAJERUS, the jovial basketball-obsessed coach who led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools, died Saturday. He was 64. Majerus died of heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital. Saint Louis athletic director Chris May said in a statement that what he would remember most about Majerus "was his enduring passion to see his players excel both on and off the court. " The school announced Nov. 19 that Majerus wouldn't return to Saint Louis because of the heart condition.
LIVING
September 4, 2000 | By Marie McCullough, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The case was dramatic but not unique. A young heart-failure patient whose only hope seemed to be a heart transplant improved so much recently that he was able to get off the transplant waiting list, return to his job, even mow his lawn. Dr. Jagat Narula believes the key to the patient's improvement was carvedilol, a type of drug known as a beta blocker. "Carvedilol has done wonders for many patients," said Narula, a heart-failure and heart-transplant specialist at Hahnemann University Hospital.
NEWS
September 1, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a huge international study, an experimental drug for heart failure worked dramatically better than the current backbone of treatment, paving the way for the biggest therapeutic advance in decades. Novartis' twice-a-day pill, still known by its code name, LCZ696, reduced deaths, hospitalizations, and disabling symptoms of heart failure. It also had fewer serious side effects than the standard therapy, a blood-pressure-lowering medication called enalapril. "We designed this study to try to change the cornerstone of treatment - to replace enalapril," said the study's lead co-author, Milton Packer, a cardiologist and heart failure researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
NEWS
December 22, 2000 | by April Adamson, Daily News Staff Writer
A team of doctors surrounded Nancy Coupland's hospital bed, shouting out orders and sticking her with needles. She knew now how dire the situation was: Her unborn baby's heart was speeding. Her own heart was failing. Earlier that same week, her top priority had been rushing to finish Christmas shopping, filling each minute with another errand. Now each minute meant life or death. "I wrote my husband a long letter. I gave everybody instructions for what to do with my kids," recalled Coupland.
NEWS
May 10, 1994 | By Martha Woodall, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Retired Cardinal John Krol, hospitalized yesterday morning at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital after complaining of shortness of breath, is suffering from congestive heart failure, his physician said. Cardinal Krol, 83, was in fair condition in the hospital's intermediate coronary care unit. In addition to breathing problems, the cardinal experienced some swelling of his legs. "He is in his usual good spirits and is responding well to therapy," said Dr. Joseph Majdan, Cardinal Krol's cardiologist.
NEWS
May 30, 1997 | By Donna Shaw, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Coreg, the first in a new class of medicines for congestive heart failure, was approved yesterday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, creating what experts called an important weapon against the biggest killer of older Americans. In clinical testing, Coreg dramatically reduced deaths and hospitalizations when combined with other, standard therapies for patients with mild or moderate heart failure, scientists said. "The data are very clear on this," said Peter Kowey, a Lankenau Hospital researcher who served on a monitoring board that oversaw a Coreg clinical trial.
NEWS
January 28, 2012
Joanne Barbara Hawkins, 60, a funeral director in South Philadelphia for 35 years, died Friday, Jan. 20, of heart failure at Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, N.C. Ms. Hawkins graduated from Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1968 and earned a bachelor's degree from George Washington University in 1972. After graduating from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in 1974, she joined her father in the operation of James L. Hawkins Funeral Home in South Philadelphia.
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SPORTS
July 15, 2015 | By Jesse Dougherty, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mahlon Duckett frequently told his daughter, Mahlene Duckett Lee, that he wanted to see more kids playing baseball. Mr. Duckett, who died at age 92 on Sunday night and was the last surviving member of the Philadelphia Stars Negro League baseball team, was glued to the Taney Dragons' Little League World Series run last summer. He regularly spoke about his Negro League experience and its place in American history to students at his alma mater, Overbrook High School. The West Philadelphia native was excited about the renovations to the Marian Anderson Recreation Center, which is where his love for baseball blossomed.
NEWS
June 6, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edwin Rothman of Elkins Park, former director of the Pennsylvania Economy League in Philadelphia, died Thursday, May 28, of heart failure at Abington Memorial Hospital. He had been ill for a short time. His family declined to release his age. As director of the Economy League's Eastern Division from 1972 to 1983, and research director before that, Dr. Rothman was an influential civic leader in Philadelphia. He had joined the nonprofit group in 1955 and wrote numerous reports that influenced government policy.
NEWS
May 31, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Morris Benjamin Wilkins, 90, of Honesdale, Pa., a World War II veteran and an entrepreneur who established several honeymoon resorts in the Poconos, attracting couples with his iconic heart-shaped bathtub, died Monday, May 25, of heart failure in Las Vegas. Mr. Wilkins was born in Stroudsburg, Pa., in 1925, the oldest of three children of Benjamin and Rose Wilkins, Russian and Hungarian immigrants. He enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
NEWS
May 24, 2015 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph Beinlich's skin is pale. At 57, he walks about as fast as someone two decades older. He is OK with that, given the alternative. "I'd rather be living than kicking up daisies," said Beinlich, of Philadelphia's Olney neighborhood. Beinlich is being kept alive by an artificial heart. Temple University Hospital surgeons removed his own, badly diseased organ in August and replaced it with the 5.6-ounce plastic device. More than 1,000 other patients have gotten the implants since the Food and Drug Administration approved them in 2004.
NEWS
May 14, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ruth H. Loudon, 97, of Norristown, a banker so successful that she was coaxed out of retirement at age 74 to help build a local business, died Thursday, May 7, at home. Mrs. Loudon had put in a normal five-hour day Thursday at Systems Solution Inc. in King of Prussia, where she began work in 1992 after a long career in banking. She was found reclining in her favorite chair. Her death was due to heart failure. Mrs. Loudon's assignment at Systems Solution was to apply her years of experience, old-school work ethic, and patience to the task of expanding the business from just four workers to a company with 70 employees operating in a multitude of states.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Ilene Raymond Rush, For The Inquirer
For more than a century, medical education in the United States has meant learning how to practice medicine and how to do research to make medicine better. But that could be changing. Given the need for more primary-care physicians, the shortage of certain specialists, and the belief that medical schools boost local economies, 36 institutions have opened across the country in the last 20 years. That growth "has been accompanied by a shift toward new medical-education models where research plays a minimal role," according to a paper published recently in Science Translational Medicine.
NEWS
March 27, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
NOVELLA WILLIAMS had a clear memory of the time when she was a child living in North Carolina and the men in the "funny clothes" came to take her father away. He was wrongly accused of setting a barn on fire, and the family had to flee the outraged townspeople who came to the house. Her father, known as "Old Black Charlie," was taken to the jailhouse in Raleigh. It was only when the true culprit confessed to carelessly tossing a lit cigarette into the barn that her father was released.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
LITTLE DID Robert Dixon know when he saw the attractive girl walking past the playground of Edison High School that getting to know her would change his life. Robert was in 11th grade at the time, and he was instantly attracted to the girl as she walked by the playground, her head down, arms loaded with books. He called out a greeting a couple of times, before deciding he'd better introduce himself. She was Hester Eliza Burgess, who was attending Kensington High School, but, more important, and life-altering for both of them, was that she was involved with the Salvation Army.
NEWS
March 7, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
A memorial is set for Sunday, March 8, for Randall Booker Haskins, 56, a FedEx delivery man and music lover, who died Monday, Jan. 26, of heart failure from complications of bronchitis and asthma. Mr. Haskins, a Mount Airy native and resident, died at his home. His mother, Yvonne, is a real estate lawyer, city revitalization specialist, and community volunteer; her husband, Harold, is a retired University of Pennsylvania administrator and a filmmaker. Their son, a popular high school student, never took himself too seriously: his name appears as Randy "Fonz" Haskins on his 1976 diploma from Germantown High School, a reference to the character on TV's Happy Days.
NEWS
February 15, 2015 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
A survey of local cardiologists finds that they want patients to be more aware of the perils of an abnormal heart rhythm as well as the value of newer blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering statins. The survey of 475 heart specialists at dozens of hospitals and private practices was conducted this month by the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia, an independent nonprofit dedicated to improving heart health in the Delaware Valley through educational programs. More than 70 physicians responded to the survey, which asked them to pick three important cardiology issues or developments that they felt patients should know more about.
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