Learning About Heart Failure Zones

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What are heart failure zones?

Heart failure zones give you an easy way to see changes in your heart failure symptoms. They also tell you when you need to get help. Check every day to see which zone you are in.

Green zone. You are doing well. This is where you want to be.

  • Your weight is stable. This means it is not going up or down.
  • You breathe easily.
  • You are sleeping well. You are able to lie flat without shortness of breath.
  • You can do your usual activities.

Yellow zone. Be careful. Your symptoms are changing. Call your doctor or nurse call line.

  • You have new or increased shortness of breath.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have sudden weight gain, such as more than 1 to 1.3 kilograms in a day or 2 kilograms in a week. (Your doctor may suggest a different range of weight gain.)
  • You have increased swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet.
  • You are so tired or weak that you cannot do your usual activities.
  • You are not sleeping well. Shortness of breath wakes you up at night. You need extra pillows.

Your doctor's name: ____________________________________________________________

Your doctor's contact information: _________________________________________________

Red zone. This is an emergency. Call 911.

You have symptoms of sudden heart failure, such as:

  • You have severe trouble breathing.
  • You cough up pink, foamy mucus.
  • You have a new irregular or fast heartbeat.

You have symptoms of a heart attack. These may include:

  • Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
  • Sweating.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly or in one or both shoulders or arms.
  • Light-headedness or sudden weakness.
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat.

If you have symptoms of a heart attack: After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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