Nov 8, 2022 Keeping Hearts Healthy

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway's new Cardiac Clinic can help.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Rahway has launched its Heart Health Center, an outpatient cardiac clinic to ensure continuity of care for cardiac patients.

The clinic will focus on cardiac wellness, treating patients discharged from the hospital after having suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure (CHF) or other cardiovascular conditions.

Howard Levitt, MD
Howard Levitt, MD

“The clinic was established to ensure continuity of care and provide the needed follow-up after discharge,” says the clinic’s medical director, Howard Levitt, MD, a cardiologist with RWJUH Rahway and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. “Managing heart disease can take time, getting medication right, balancing diet and lifestyle. It’s important for people to have a place to go for that follow-up care.”

The clinic treats patients with cardiac conditions that include CHF, atrial fibrillation and arrhythmias.

“If patients have a place to go for their follow-up care, we can help keep them at work, at home and out of the hospital,” says Dr. Levitt.

The clinic operates Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call 833-MDHeart or 833-634-3278.

Matters of the Heart: 4 Common Cardiac Conditions Explained

We’re all familiar with the names. But do we really know what they mean? Here are four common cardiac conditions, explained.

1. Heart Attack

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood (which brings oxygen to the heart) in one or more of the coronary arteries suddenly becomes blocked or greatly reduced and the heart muscle can’t get enough oxygen. Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or discomfort in arm or shoulder
  • Feeling weak, lightheaded or faint
  • Jaw, neck or back pain

2. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to keep up with the body’s needs. Despite its name, it doesn’t mean that the heart has stopped working. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Buildup of fluid in tissues (edema)
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Impaired thinking
  • Increased heart rate

3. Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, is an irregular and often rapid heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots in the heart. It increases the risk of heart-related complications including heart failure and stroke. Symptoms include:

  • palpitations (fast, pounding heartbeat)
  • shortness of breath
  • weakness
  • sometimes no symptoms

4. Heart Arrhythmia

A heart arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Heart arrhythmias are categorized by the rate of the heartbeat. A fast heartbeat is known as tachycardia; a slow heartbeat is called bradycardia. Symptoms include:

  • A fluttering feeling in the chest
  • Tachycardia
  • Bradycardia
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

The RWJUH Rahway Heart Health Center operates Monday through Friday. To schedule an appointment, call or 833-MDHEART (833-634-3278).