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The History and Physical Examination Discussed During Annual Meeting

Thursday, September 17, 2009 General News J E 4
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BOSTON, Sept. 15 The 13th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) today featured a discussion surrounding the Physical Exam, titled "Is the Physical Exam Obsolete?" presented by Dr. Mark H. Drazner, Cardiologist, Internist and Associate Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. This presentation highlighted the usefulness of the history and physical examination (H&P) when diagnosing patients with chronic heart failure in the modern era. The presentation cautioned the increasing reliance on tests such as biomarkers and imaging over the traditional H&P exam, citing that this exam can provide valuable information in the evaluation and management of heart failure.



"The H&P examination has always been and continues to be an important procedure in medical diagnoses," said Dr. Douglas Mann, HFSA President. "As health care professionals it is crucial that we continue the teaching and practices of careful and thorough bedside care."



"Clinicians should focus on estimates of hemodynamic status from the H&P examination which are directly associated with prognosis in patients with advanced heart failure," said Dr. Drazner during the discussion.



"The H&P exam provides useful information to tell whether a patient has accumulated too much fluid in their body, which is associated with a poorer prognosis. At the same time, the H&P exam has the benefit of being noninvasive, safe, cost-effective, and also strengthens the patient-physician relationship. Clearly, the sometimes neglected H&P exam remains vital in the care of patients with heart failure."



For a complete list of annual meeting sessions or for details on attending the conference, call (617) 226-7183 or visit www.hfsa.org and click on Annual Scientific Meeting. There is no registration fee for accredited journalists. Interview areas will be available on-site in addition to a fully-staffed press room with phone and internet accessibility.



About Heart Failure

Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened after it is injured, most commonly from heart attack or high blood pressure, and gradually loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body's needs. Many people are not aware they have heart failure because the symptoms are often mistaken for signs of getting older. Heart failure affects from 4.6 to 4.8 million individuals in the United States. Demographic and clinical evidence strongly suggests that the prevalence of heart failure will increase throughout the next decade. Ten to 15 years ago heart failure was considered a "death sentence;" however, recent advances in treatment have shown that early diagnosis and proper care in early stages of the condition are key to slowing, stopping or in some cases reversing progression, improving quality of life, and extending life expectancy. For more information on heart failure, please visit www.abouthf.org.



About the Heart Failure Society of America

The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) is a nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1994 as the first organized association of heart failure experts. Today HFSA has over 1,500 members and provides a forum for all those interested in heart function, heart failure research and patient care. The Society also serves as a resource for governmental agencies (FDA, NIH, NHLBI, CMS). The HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting is designed to highlight recent advances in the development of strategies to address the complex epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic issues of heart failure. Additional information on HFSA can be found at www.hfsa.org.



SOURCE The Heart Failure Society of America
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