congestive heart failure

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Congestive Heart Failure: Know the Facts:

Congestive Heart Failure: Know the Facts Presented by Julie A Carson RN,MHA


CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE Nearly 5 Million Americans are living with heart failure today 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year CHF is the leading cause of hospital admission for patients over the age of 65 More than 35 Billion dollars per year is spent in the United States for management of this disease

What Is Heart Failure ? :

What Is Heart Failure ? Heart Failure is a clinical syndrome and collection of symptoms that indicate the heart is not able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s energy demands. As the heart muscle weakens, it needs to pump harder to keep blood flowing to the body.

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Since the heart is not pumping enough blood: Blood backs up in the veins Fluid builds up causing swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs Fluid then builds up in the lungs causing pulmonary congestion

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?:

What Are the Signs and Symptoms? Trouble breathing ,especially during activity or when lying flat in bed Waking up out of breath at night Frequent dry hacking cough especially when lying flat Feeling tired, weak, or dizzy Swollen feet, ankles, and legs Nausea, stomach swelling, and pain and tenderness Confusion Less urine production Sudden weight gain

Possible Causes of CHF:

Possible Causes of CHF Heart disease Hypertension History of heart attack Heart valve disease Heart defects since birth Infections of the heart and heart valves Morbid obesity Pregnancy Auto immune disease like lupus Radiation or chemotherapy

Appropriate Treatment:

Appropriate Treatment Remain physically active but take frequent rest periods Follow a low sodium diet Take medications prescribed by your physician Weigh yourself daily Follow any fluid restrictions given by your physician Limit or avoid alcohol Stop using tobacco and avoid second hand smoke Visit your doctor regularly

Exercise Guidelines:

Exercise Guidelines Before starting any exercise program ask your physician Ask your doctor for a walking/activity program Plan the time that works for you Begin at a very slow pace *use talk test* Go short distances and build slowly Take frequent rest periods Avoid extreme cold and hot weather Know your limits Have a backup plan for outside walking

Types of Exercise:

Types of Exercise Aerobic light to moderate intensity Strength/resistance training use only light weights Stay Active! Spend time in activities you enjoy (example: gardening) that your doctor has approved

Signs of Overexertion:

Signs of Overexertion Chest pain or discomfort Burning, tightness, heaviness, or pressure in your chest Unusual aching in your arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, or back Trouble catching your breath A racing or skipping heart Extreme tiredness Light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea Seek medical attention immediately or notify your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms


Medications Diuretics rid your body of excess fluid Beta blockers help the heart to pump more efficiently and strengthen your heart. They slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Ace inhibitors help the heart by decreasing the resistance against which the heart pumps. They help the blood vessels relax, so they can more easily accept the blood pumped out of the heart.

Low Sodium Eating:

Low Sodium Eating Daily recommended allowance is less than 2000mg Read food labels Avoid high sodium foods Cook without sodium Limit/avoid table salt Add flavor with herbs and spices

Salt Substitutes:

Salt Substitutes A good way to enhance the flavor of foods without using too much salt There are many to choose from but you need to beware that some still contain sodium They can also have too much potassium which is not good for your heart Choose a salt substitute that is both low in sodium and potassium

Examples of Salt Substitutes:

Examples of Salt Substitutes Item Serving Size Sodium Potassium Salt 1 tsp 2300mg 0mg Morton Lite Salt 1 tsp 1100mg 1500mg Morton Salt Subs 1 tsp 0mg 2800mg No Salt 1 tsp 5mg 2500mg No Salt, Seasoned 1 tsp 2mg 1330mg NU-Salt 1 tsp 0mg 528mg Salt-It, Estee 1/8 tsp 0mg 440mg Nature’s Seasonings 1 tsp 15mg 1440mg Mrs. Dash Salt-Free 1 tsp 50mg 0mg NuSalt and Mrs. Dash Salt-free better choices

High and Low Sodium Foods :

High and Low Sodium Foods Refried canned beans 1 cup / 1,071 mg Cheeseburger fast food 1 large / 1,589mg Chicken noodle soup canned 1 cup / 1,107 mg Cottage cheese ½ cup / 425mg Tomatoes, canned 6oz / 658mg Frozen corn , unsalted ½ cup / 63mg Ground beef patty ½ cup / 4mg Oatmeal 1 cup / 1 mg Baked salmon w/o salt 3 oz / 51mg Tomatoes, fresh 1 medium / 11mg HIGH LOW

Weight Management:

Weight Management Weigh yourself daily at the same time Use the same scales Same amount of clothing each time Keep track of weight in log If weight is up 2lbs or more in 2 days call your doctor

Tobacco Use Why Quit?:

Tobacco Use Why Quit? Studies show that every cigarette you smoke shortens your life by six minutes 1 in 3 smokers die early of heart disease, stroke, cancer, or emphysema Smoker are twice as likely to have a heart attack A Non-smoker’s chance of dying from a heart attack is five times greater if around second hand smoke If you bank that $4.50 a day that you spend on cigarettes in 10 years you’ll have over $16,400!! Most public places are now NO Smoking

Keys for Quitting:

Keys for Quitting Get yourself ready Get support and encouragement Make a list of reasons to quit Avoid smokers and smoking situations Take medications and use correctly Identify your triggers Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations

New Treatment….:

New Treatment…. Cardiac resynchronization therapy: CRT is designed to enable the two lower chambers of the heart to beat at the same time again in normal rhythm. This improves the heart’s ability to pump blood and oxygen to the body


CONCLUSION Know the warning signs and symptoms Stay as active as possible Quit smoking See your doctor at least yearly If you already have CHF, you can prolong your life and improve your quality of life by following these guidelines Call you doctor if you are having any of these symptoms



Reference :

Reference American Heart Association (2011). Retrieved on June 15,2011, from

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