Heart failure simulator 'rolls in' for Penn's medical community

Participants enter a pod for six minutes to better understand the challenges of heart failure patients

WHAT: The media is invited to "come experience heart failure!"

The Heart FX Pod -- being carried across the nation on a tour of major academic medical institutions via a truck by AstraZeneca -- will roll into PENN for two days at the end of April. It will be accessible to all University of Pennsylvania Health System employees so that the Penn medical community may better comprehend what challenges heart failure patients face on any given day. The simulation, meant to promote heart failure awareness, is safe for all participants.

WHEN: Thursday, April 27
1-3 p.m.

WHERE: Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Penn Parking Lot on the corner of 38th Street & Powelton Avenue
(Look for a huge red truck!)
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Lee Goldberg, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Heart/Lung Transplant Program
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Brian Drachman, MD, FACC
Director, Coronary Care Unit
Associate, Heart Failure/Transplant Program
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center

Donna Chojnowski, MSN, CRNP
Clinical Manager, Heart Failure & Cardiac Transplant Program
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

The Heart FX Pod is open to anyone employed by the University of Pennsylvania Health System. To schedule an appointment, go on-line to: www.heartfxpod.com. There are five simulators in one truck. Each simulation takes about six minutes.

--NOTE: This is NOT open to the general public--

During the safe, multisensory, interactive patient-perspective simulation of the impact of heart failure on daily activity, a generally healthy person will gradually feel the debilitating effects of heart failure, which can include shortness of breath, exercise limitations, and fatigue.

Once inside the pod, the participant is presented with a patient profile and brief orientation sequence, outfitted with a compression vest, and situated on foot pedals. Through a series of visual and audio effects, the participant is taken on a "virtual tour" through a heart failure patient's daily experiences. The participant first hears the patient story, and then gradually begins to feel some of the physical effects of heart failure as the vest tightens and the foot pedal resistance increases.

The heart is an amazing pump made of living muscle. It circulates blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to all of the tissues in your body 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, throughout your lifetime. All of the organs in the body are dependent upon receiving enough blood from the heart. When the heart can't meet the needs of the organs, most people develop symptoms that doctors refer to as "heart failure." As a result, fluid may collect in the legs, arms or abdomen, and you may feel tired or short of breath. Heart failure can occur in anyone from children to older adults. In the United States, the most common cause of heart failure is weakening of the heart muscle due to coronary artery disease.

At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Mariell Jessup, MD, is the Medical Director of the Heart Failure and Transplant Program. At Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Ross Zimmer, MD, is the Medical Director of the Heart Failure Program. The Heart Failure and Transplantation Programs at Penn provide comprehensive care for patients with heart failure, offering more treatment options than ever before. Our multidisciplinary teams include some of the nation's finest cardiologists, cardiothoracic and transplant surgeons, specialized nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and support staff who are all dedicated to the care of patients with heart failure.

In 2005, the Heart Failure and Transplantation Program at HUP performed 49 heart transplant procedures, which represents more than all five Philadelphia area hospitals combined, and more than any hospital in the state of Pennsylvania.



For more information on heart failure: www.pennhealth.com/cardiac/health_info/heart_failure/heart_failure
PENN Cardiac Care: www.pennhealth.com/cardiac
Lee Goldberg, MD, MPH -- on-line bio: www.pennhealth.com/Wagform/MainPage.aspx?config=provider&P=PP&ID=1131
Brian Drachman, MD - on-line bio: www.pennhealth.com/Wagform/MainPage.aspx?config=provider&P=PP&ID=1022

PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which is consistently ranked one of the nation's few "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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