Heart failure action plan

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Do your checklist every day

  • Weigh yourself in the morning before breakfast. Write down your weight. Compare it to yesterday's weight.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Check for swelling in your feet, ankles, legs and stomach.
  • Eat foods low in sodium (salt). Limit salt to 1,500 to 2,000 mg.
  • Be able to do your regular activities without being short of breath.
  • Have enough energy to get through the day.

Call your health care provider if you have any of the following:

hf weight168x168

a weight gain of 3 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week

hf shortnessofbreath168x168

more shortness of breath than usual

hf swollen legs168x168

more swelling of your feet, ankles, legs or stomach than usual

hf fatigue168x168

more tiredness than usual or the inability to do your everyday activities

  • harder breathing when you lie down (you need to start sleeping in a chair)
  • the inability to take your medicine as directed

Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency department if you are:

  • struggling to breathe
  • having chest pain
  • are confused or unable to think clearly

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, fifth edition, 1-931876-31-2
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/10/2015