2015 AAHFN Promotes Heart Failure Awareness Week
Thursday, February 5, 2015
AAHFN Promotes Heart Failure Awareness Week
Destination Healthy Heart: A Road Map to Managing Heart Failure
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., February 5, 2015— In honor of Heart Failure Awareness Week (HFAW), February 8-14, 2015, the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) is reminding healthcare providers to focus on teaching patients and caregivers ways to manage heart failure.
Heart failure is a complex syndrome, AAHFN has developed tip sheets for both patients and nurses to help communicate to patients how to live heart healthy and care for themselves. The year-long campaign, Destination Healthy Heart: A Road Map to Managing Heart Failure will kick-off February 8 and will consist of a roll out of a series of topics focusing on different conditions related to heart failure such as: Cardiorenal Syndrome, Atrial Fibrillation, Viral Illness, Cardiotoxins, Takotsubo (Broken Heart Syndrome), and more.
There are 6.5 million adults in the U.S. living with heart failure. Destination Healthy Heart: A Road Map to Managing Heart Failure serves as a reminder to communicate to patients how to manage their disease with self-care tips. AAHFN is working to increase awareness and encourage more communication between patients, caregivers, and their healthcare providers. The AAHFN patient education website provides patients and their families with information and easy to follow tip sheets to help live a more heart healthy lifestyle.
“AAHFN is committed to providing education to nurses, patients, and caregivers” said AAHFN President Connie Lewis, MSN, ACNP-BC, NP-C, CCRN, CHFN. “Working together we can assist patients in ‘getting their lives back’ by learning to manage heart failure.”
In an effort to help manage the complex forms of heart failure, AAHFN suggests the following:
Tips for Patients: Self – Care of Heart Failure
- Know your Ejection Fraction (EF) - EF is the percentage of blood leaving the heart with each beat
- Take your medications every day to reduce symptoms of heart failure and stop or slow down disease progression
- Follow a reduced sodium diet (2 – 3 grams per day)
- Stay active - aim for 30 minutes, 5 days a week at a comfortable pace
- Quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake
- Keep immunizations up-to-date
- Know the signs and symptoms of heart failure and when to call the office:
- Weigh yourself daily - call if 2 - 3 lb. weight gain in a day or 5 lbs. in a week
- Shortness of breath at rest or when lying down
- Fluid accumulation in legs or abdomen
Tips for Nurses:
- Ensure guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) for heart failure patients
- Complete medication reconciliation at all encounters (admission, transfer, discharge)
- Arrange follow-up after hospital discharge (within 7 days)
- Refer to a heart failure specialist when applicable
Go to aahfn.orgfor detailed information about AAHFN’s initiative Destination Healthy Heart: A Road Map to Managing Heart Failure and additional downloads on this year-long program.
For additional patient education resources visit: aahfnpatienteducation.com
Sponsors of AAHFN’s Heart Failure Awareness Week include:
BG Medicine (BGM Galectin-3 Test) Amgen Cardiovascular
St. Jude Medical
The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) unites professionals in the support and advancement of heart failure practice, education and research to promote optimal patient outcomes. AAHFN is dedicated to advancing nursing education, clinical practice and research with the goal of setting the standards for heart failure nursing care. Find more information about AAHFN and Heart Failure Awareness Week by visiting www.aahfn.org and following the association on Twitter at @AAHFN.