Emerson Hospital
At Emerson Hospital, patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) have convenient, close-to-home access to comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of their condition.

Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained cardiologists provides expert care and ongoing management of CHF. And through Emerson’s affiliations with some of the Boston area’s leading tertiary academic medical centers, we offer streamlined access to advanced cardiac procedures if they are needed.

About congestive heart failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body because the heart muscle has weakened or become too stiff. Sometimes it is because of a faulty heart valve. As a result, blood backs up into—and congests—the liver, abdomen, lower extremities and lungs. 

Congestive heart failure can be caused by:

Diagnosing congestive heart failure

Diagnosing congestive heart failure starts with your doctor taking a careful medical history, reviewing your symptoms and performing a physical examination. Your doctor also will look for risk factors, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.

After your physical exam, your doctor may order diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your CHF. These can include:
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress test
  • CT Scan  
  • MRI Scan
  • Coronary angiogram
  • Myocardial biopsy

Your cardiologist will then determine the most appropriate treatment depending on the cause and severity of your congestive heart failure.

Treating congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is a chronic disease that requires ongoing management, which Emerson’s skilled cardiologists provide. With treatment, heart failure symptoms can improve and sometimes the heart can get stronger. 

For most people, treatment involves a balance of: 
  • Appropriate medications 
  • Lifestyle changes 
  • Careful monitoring 
  • Cardiac rehabilitation exercise training and self-care counseling have been shown to improve clinical status and outcomes in patients with CHF

Heart failure can sometimes be corrected by treating the underlying cause if it is due to a faulty heart valve or arrhythmia, for example. In some cases, implanting a device to help the heart beat and contract properly is appropriate. And sometimes, even a heart transplant is indicated. 

Should you require more advanced surgical or interventional procedures, our affiliations with leading tertiary medical centers in the Boston area ensures you have streamlined access to the care you need. 

State-of-the-art cardiac care facilities

Should you or a loved one require hospitalization due to congestive heart failure, Emerson Hospital has invested in advanced technology and resources to provide the best-possible cardiac care:
  • A dedicated Coronary Care Unit (CCU) where patients with serious heart problems are closely monitored and receive specialized, individual care 
  • For patients who require monitoring but do not need the intensive nursing care of the CCU, all of Emerson’s 179 beds are equipped with state-of-the-art Telemetry equipment, which continuously monitors patients’ heart rates and rhythms