The Powerful Role of Intravenous Diuretics in Congestive Heart Failure Treatment
The medical management of heart failure disease has highly improved over the past decades. However, mortality rates and treatment costs remain high. On top of that, hospitalization and readmission rates are far from desired levels.
Both research and empirical evidence now suggest an alternative to improve the clinical status and reduce readmission numbers for heart failure patients: the intermittent administration of intravenous diuretics.
It’s a relatively new, but quite promising approach.
Post-discharge use of IV diuretics therapy helps cease the recycle of diuretic resistance and the silent increase of fluid congestion in patients.
Decompensation is what most often leads to frequent hospitalizations related to congestive heart failure. Besides elevating healthcare costs, it also compromises the quality of life for patients.
The common use of oral diuretic therapy in a great contributor to such situation.
It is still the most common treatment for congestion, especially loop diuretics. But the development of diuretic resistance is also common, which limits the efficacy of the treatment.
When decompensation occurs, intravenous diuretic therapy is the preferred treatment choice.
Intravenous diuretic treatment has been part of a successful strategy to reduce hospitalizations and to decongest hemodynamically stable patients in ambulatory settings.
Studies are still in a preliminary phase, but findings already point to important results:
In a set of three recent case studies, where all patients had frequent hospitalizations due to decompensation, the number of readmissions dramatically decreased after the administration of IV diuretics therapy.
In the period following treatment with intravenous diuretics, the improvement of patients’ functional capacity was maintained and none of them presented serum electrolyte disturbances or worsening renal functions.
Further clinical studies are still needed to prove the full efficacy of IV diuretics therapy for congestive heart failure. Yet these significant data point to an even greater relevance of intravenous insertion expertise.
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