Issue No. 16
Heart Failure Care ChecklistDate: April 25, 2012
Heart failure—also known as congestive heart failure, or CHF—is a chronic but manageable condition that affects nearly 6 million Americans. If you care for someone who has heart failure, Kapil Parakh, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Comprehensive Heart Failure Program, offers these guidelines to help heart failure patients stay well and avoid hospital admission:
- Weigh yourself daily and call your doctor if your weight goes up two pounds in a day or five pounds in a week. Also report unexpected weight loss.
- Watch for signs that your heart failure is getting worse, such as shortness of breath, or swelling in the legs or abdomen.
- Cut back your intake of sodium (including salt) and fluids (including water). Stick to the limits recommended by your physician.
- Take medications as prescribed. Don’t skip doses.
- Don’t smoke. Quit if you do.
- Limit alcohol use to no more than one standard alcoholic drink per day.
- Exercise regularly at a comfortable pace.
- Go to all your appointments and tests and keep in regular contact with your doctor.
Watch and listen to Johns Hopkins cardiologists discuss prevention and treatment of heart failure. Visit hopkinsmedicine.org/healthseminars. For more information or to make an appointment, call 800-547-5182.