The Infusion Clinic is for patients diagnosed with severe symptoms of congestive heart failure and are undergoing intravenous medication infusion therapy because their bodies have been resistant to oral medication.
Infusion therapy can either be temporary, as in the case of those needing it to allow for adjustments in medication, or long-term, as in the case of those using it for end stage congestive heart failure.
The goals of the Infusion Clinic are to prevent further hospitalizations due to heart failure and to improve the quality of life by reducing the symptoms of heart failure.
Infusion therapy is performed in an outpatient setting at multiple Infusion Clinic sites in Colorado. At Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, infusion therapy is administered to patients in the Heart Center Procedure Unit. Other sites include McKee Medical Center in Loveland and Sterling Regional Medical Center in Sterling.
To speak to one of the Infusion Clinic staff members, call 970.221.1000.
Why have infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy is usually indicated by a cardiologist for four primary reasons:
Temporary treatment for acute worsening of heart failure that does not respond to appropriate doses of oral medications.
Worsening heart failure that is accompanied by low blood pressure and renal failure.
A bridge to heart transplantation or recovery from a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Reduction of symptoms for patient who are not candidates for heart transplantation but in whom symptoms are severe despite being on maximal oral medical therapy.
How are infusions administered?
Infusions are tailored to fit each patient and are usually given one to three times per week. The duration of each infusion is typically four hours. The patient has a peripherally inserted central catheter (IV PICC) inserted into the vein of his/her arm by either IV team or the radiology department. The PICC line allows for ease of blood draws for laboratory tests and for infusion of mediations. The PICC line may be used indefinitely, and only needs to be changed if it clots or is infected.
What kinds of medications are used for infusion therapy?
There are several combinations of medications that may be used to help improve your symptoms caused by heart failure. Commonly used IV medications to increase the force of the heart's contractions are milrinone (Primacor) and Dobutamine. Commonly used medications to help remove fluid accumulation are nesiritide (Natrecor), furosemide (Lasix) and bumetanide (Bumex).
Your cardiologist and the mid level practitioners (NP or PA) who manage the infusion clinic will determine the appropriate medication for you.