Dr. Orvar Jonsson
During heart failure, the heart's pumping ability has weakened and the heart is not able to circulate enough blood to meet the body's demands. This may cause a build up of fluid in the body, says Orvar Jonsson, MD with Sanford Clinic Heart Partners.
The Aquadex Ultrafiltration System pulls a small amount of blood from the body and removes the excess fluid. During the therapy, a catheter removes blood from the patient and passes it into a machine with a special filter. This filter removes and discards excess fluid from the blood. A second catheter then returns the fluid free blood back to the patient. The amount of fluid removed can be regulated on an hourly basis while the patients blood pressure is closely monitored.
Traditionally, diuretics have been used to decrease the excess fluid. But, for some patients, diuretics can cause side effects, and they can take several weeks to be completely effective. The Aquadex System works in a matter of hours, adds Dr. Jonsson.
A recently published large randomized clinical trial showed this system to be more effective in removing fluid, and it also reduced hospitalizations from congestive heart failure. Physicians with Sanford Clinic Heart Partners are currently using this technique to treat patients who have fluid build up with congestive heart failure.
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