SecondsCount has developed a checklist that you can print out and post where you can easily see it. This checklist provides a starting point for items you will want to take care of when you return home after hospitalization for heart failure.
- Have you filled your medication prescriptions or made arrangements for them to be delivered? Taking your medication as prescribed is very important to avoiding hospital readmission. Be sure to get refills of your medicines before you run out.
- Create a list of contact phone numbers for your care team at the hospital. Post this in a location where you and a loved one can easily access it in case of an emergency.
- Schedule follow-up appointments and be sure to go to them. If you have signs of worsening heart failure in between follow-up appointments, call your heart failure care team. They are there as a resource for you and can help you avoid hospital readmission or know when it’s best to come in to the hospital for your safety.
- Make a plan for reducing salt and sodium in your diet. Common sources of dietary sodium include fast-foods, canned foods, soy sauce and salted foods such as chips. Read food Nutrition Facts labels and ask restaurants for nutrition information. Food labels will indicate that an adult can have 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day, but heart failure patients should have less than 2,000 milligrams a day.
- Weigh yourself each morning and maintain a weight log that you can bring with you to cardiology appointments. SecondsCount has created a Weight Log template that you can use, or create you own. If you have a weight gain of 2–3 pounds overnight or 5 pounds in a week, contact your heart failure care team regardless of when your next appointment is scheduled.
Click here to print the Heart Failure Management Checklist (PDF).