Heart Failure Awareness Week
October 4 – 10, 2021

Don’t let heart failure stop you

Heart failure is a serious chronic condition, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living. 26 million people worldwide are living with heart failure, and with the right medication and lifestyle, it can be controlled.

Let’s focus on living, because even with heart failure, you can still be you.

#HeartFailureAwareness

Patient Stories

Heart failure is a very common condition – there are about 90 thousand people living with heart failure in Ireland today.

What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood around the body as well as it should. It does not mean that the heart has stopped working, but it means that the body is not getting the oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function normally. While heart failure is a serious medical condition, following your medical treatment plan closely and making positive lifestyle changes can help you manage the condition.

Learn more.

Let’s focus on living, because even with heart failure, you can still be you. 

If you are living with heart failure, there are lots of things that you can do to help manage your condition, including medical treatments, adjusting your lifestyle and self-management. For example:

  • Connect regularly with your heart failure nurse or doctor (see our virtual patient guide for online calls)
  • Reach out to Croí’s free Heartlink West telephone helpline if you need support: 091-544310 / healthteam@croi.ie
  • Track your symptoms and seek help if you develop new or worsening symptoms (see our heart failure symptom tracker)
  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Eat a healthy diet, with limited salt intake
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Join a support group for people living with heart failure

Know The Symptoms

Heart failure can affect different people in different ways. Symptoms can come on suddenly and be initially severe (acute heart failure) or they can appear over time and gradually get worse (chronic heart failure). If you have heart failure, you may have one, or a combination, of these symptoms. The more common symptoms of heart disease are:

  • Coughing/wheezing
  • Extreme tiredness or no energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • More frequent urination, especially at night
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath, even when lying down
  • Swelling in the ankles/feet/stomach
  • Weight gain over a short period of time (>2kg over 2 days)

By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have one or more of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, you should visit your GP and ask the question “Could I have heart failure?”.

Why raising awareness about Heart Failure is so important

Heart failure is a serious chronic condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to support the needs of other organs in the body. The most common causes of heart failure include coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), congenital heart defects, or damaged heart valves. Symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue and swollen limbs. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people are at risk of heart failure and it is the most frequent cause of hospitalisation in people over the age of 65.

Further information & advice

If you have any queries or concerns relation to heart failure, please don’t hesitate to contact Croí’s support service, Heartlink West, Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:30pm: Call 091-544310 or email healthteam@croi.ie.

About the Heart Failure Awareness Campaign

This awareness week is led by the Heart Failure Disease Patient Council of the Global Heart Hub, of which Croí is a founding member. 

 

Learn more.