Relief for Fluid Overload
Asst. Prof. Raymond Wong introduces the launch of a value-added service that helps to treat fluid overload in heart failure patients who do not respond to diuretics.
Madam A is a middle-aged female patient with congestive heart failure. As her heart could
not pump enough oxygen-rich blood for her body's needs, she experienced fluid overload (retention of water in the body). Its symptoms include swelling, weight gain, and shortness of breath.
Treating Fluid Overload
Diuretics ('water pills'), a conventional treatment to help produce more urine, failed to treat her. In such cases, ultrafiltration (UF) may be a treatment option. UF is a procedure where blood with excess fluid is extracted and passes through a filter. It then return the blood to the body after removing excess salt and water.
After undergoing a UF procedure, "Madam A" initially lost weight. However, she developed the symptoms again. Thus, she went through another round of UF, which was a success. Her symptoms were resolved and renal function improved. She was later discharged in good condition.
Positive Outcomes for Patients
The UNLOAD study was conducted by doctors from Midwest Heart Foundation, a non-profit organisation that elevates the efforts of the American Heart Association (AHA). Results show that patients receiving UF experienced greater net fluid loss than patients treated primarily with diuretics. UF is also a treatment for heart failure under the latest guidelines by the American College of Cardiology and AHA.
The UF service is available at National University Heart Centre, Singapore since December 2015.
By Asst. Prof. Raymond Wong