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Congestive Heart Failure

What Is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive Heart failure is a condition where the heart muscle weakens from damage or overwork. The heart cannot supply the blood necessary to meet the body’s needs.

Signs And Symptoms Of CHF

  • Weight gain, ( 3-5 pounds in a week)
  • Swelling of legs or ankles
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive urination at night
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Dry cough or wheezing
  • Unable to lie flat at night

Key Prevention & Home Care Goals

  • Weigh daily to detect fluid gain
  • Take medication as prescribed
  • Eat a low salt low fat diet
  • Monitor blood pressure daily
  • Avoid stress and fatigue
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • Take pulse rate daily
  • Dress warmly in cold weather
  • Elevate legs often
  • Restrict fluids per doctor order

Report And Escalate To Care teams

  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Pulse less than 60/ greater than 100
  • Swelling of legs or ankles
  • Weight gain of 3-5 pounds within a week
  • Persistent cough

Home Care Is Appropriate/ Advised For Patients Who Have Had

  • Recent hospitalization
  • Diagnosis or recent onset of disease
  • Fluctuating or unstable vital signs
  • Orthopnoea
  • Peripheral edema
  • Increased fatigue
  • Activity intolerance
  • Initiation of new medication regimen
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea
  • Patient requiring fluid/dietary modifications
  • Patient requiring oxygen therapy
  • Limited endurance
  • Frequent Emergency Room visits (three or more over six months) indicate the need for a skilled nurse to educate the patient about the disease process and management

How Home Care Assists Patients With Chronic Congestive Heart Failure?

  • Observation and assessment
  • Management and evaluation
  • Energy conservation
  • Compensatory techniques
  • Medication education
  • Fluid intake
  • Diuretic therapy
  • Disease process education
  • Electrolyte replacement
  • Safety education
  • Ambulation techniques
  • Transfer techniques
  • Weight monitoring
  • Cardiac assessment
  • Assistance with ADL’s

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