Ambulatory intravenous furosemide for decompensated heart failure: safe, feasible, and effective

Fozia Z. Ahmed, Joanne K. Taylor, Anju V. John, Muhammad A. Khan, Amir M. Zaidi, Mamas A. Mamas, Manish Motwani, Colin Cunnington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to establish the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of outpatient intravenous (IV) diuretic treatment for the management of decompensated heart failure (HF) for patients enrolled in the HeartFailure@Home service.

Methods and results
We retrospectively analysed the clinical episodes of decompensated HF for patients enrolled in the HeartFailure@Home service, managed by ambulatory IV diuretic treatment either at home or on a day-case unit. A control group consisting of HF patients admitted to hospital for IV diuretics (standard-of-care) was also evaluated. In total, 203 episodes of decompensated HF (n = 154 patients) were evaluated. One hundred and fourteen episodes in 79 patients were managed exclusively by the ambulatory IV diuretic service—78 (68.4%) on a day-case unit and 36 (31.6%) domiciliary; 84.1% of patient episodes under the HF@Home service were successfully managed entirely in an out-patient setting without hospitalization. Eleven patients required admission in order to administer higher doses of IV diuretics than could be provided in the ambulatory setting. During follow-up, there were 20 (17.5%) 30 day re-admissions with HF or death in the ambulatory IV group and 29 (32.6%) in the standard-of-care arm (P = 0.02). There was no difference in 30 day HF readmissions between the two groups (14.9% ambulatory vs. 13.5% inpatients, P = 0.8), but 30 day mortality was significantly lower in the ambulatory group (3.5% vs. 21.3% inpatients, P < 0.001).

Outpatient ambulatory management of decompensated HF with IV diuretics given either on a day case unit or in a domiciliary setting is feasible, safe, and effective in selected patients with decompensated HF. This should be explored further as a model in delivering HF services in the outpatient setting during COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3906-3916
Number of pages11
JournalESC Heart Failure
Issue number5
Early online date12 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Heart failure
  • Intravenous
  • Diuretics
  • Ambulatory
  • Elderly


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