Emma West-Eggar, the specialist heart failure nurse at George Eliot Hospital, shares a few useful tips ahead of Heart Failure Awareness Day – May 5 2017.
Heart Failure Awareness day is designed to raise awareness of heart failure, including possible symptoms, the importance of an early and accurate diagnosis, and the need for optimal treatment.
Emma cares for patients and their family or carers who have been diagnosed with Heart Failure. She will be supporting the day by holding an advice stall in the hospital and welcomes anyone to pop along if they wish to know more about this serious condition.
Emma provides the following top tips to help support a healthier heart:-
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a healthy well balanced diet and avoid adding salt to your food
- Limit your alcohol intake to 2-3 units a day for both men and women.
- Ensure you have at least 2 alcohol free days
- Ensure that you have your flu jab.
- If you are a smoker – stop or contact Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service on 0800 085 2917
- Remember your five a day (both fruit and vegetables)
- Exercise for half an hour, five times a week
Additional tips for patients who have experienced heart failure.
- Weigh yourself daily and if you notice an increase in weight by 3-4 1bs (2kg) in 3-4 days contact your Heart Failure Nurse or GP.
- Unless directed otherwise limit your fluid intake to 2 litres a day or 7-8 mugs of fluid.
- Ensure you take your medications as prescribed and never run out of your tablets.
- If you notice any changes in symptoms contact you Heart Failure Nurse or GP.
- Please ensure you bring your Heart Failure Passport to every appointment.
- Ensure you have had your once only pneumonia vaccination.
Emma advises any patients that have experienced heart failure to contact their GP if they experience shortness of breath, swelling of feet and legs, chronic lack of energy, swollen or tender abdomen with loss of appetite, cough with frothy sputum, increased urination at night or confusion and/or impaired memory.
Emma and her cardiology specialist nurse colleagues also organise a free support group for patients who have heart conditions. The next meeting of the group is being held on Wednesday 24 May 2017 at 2.30pm at the Phoenix Centre, Bermuda Village in Nuneaton.
Patients, relatives and carers are invited to these informative events which talk about cardiac conditions and healthy living. Free Parking is available at the Phoenix Centre (Bermuda Village, Nuneaton, CV10 7HU) which is just a five minute walk from the main hospital. Tea and Coffee is available for a minimal charge.
These informal events also allow plenty of time to chat, speak to specialist nurses and socialise with others with similar conditions.
Please confirm your attendance and who will be coming with you with you by ringing and leaving a message on 02476 15 3841. Future dates are 26th July, 27th September and 22nd November.
Find out more about Emma and view a short video about her role here: