HFAWeek 2021 Twitter Chat

In observance of Heart Failure Awareness Week 2021, the Heart Failure Society of America hosted #HFChat2021 - a live Twitter discussion - and was joined by @ISHLT @CanHFSociety @HeartBrothers1 @ACCinTouch @MendedHearts @JCardFail @accpcardprn @ihearttjbf @womenheart @CCFheartkids @boehringerus.

Below is the complete recap transcript of the discussion.

Question 1: Is it safe for patients with heart failure to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when available? #HFChat2021 #HFWeek2021
HFChat2021_Question1

Heart Failure Society of America @HFSA

  • YES! Patients w/ HF are at higher risk of getting very sick w/ potential fatal outcomes if they contract COVID-19. In a recent statement, HFSA Pres. Nancy Albert said: “being vaccinated is an important step in prevention.” #HFChat2021 https://hfsa.org/heart-failure-society-america-reassures-patients-safety-covid-19-vaccine 

American Association of Heart Failure Nurses @AAHFN

  • YES! Patients with HF are at high risk for COVID-19 complications. Visit our website to link to a COVID-19 patient education addendum put together by the HF community! #HFWeek2021

American College of Clinical Pharmacy @ACCP

  • Absolutely! Patients with HF should seek access to the vaccine, when able. There are great FAQs about the vaccines here: https://cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html #HFChat2021

Canadian Heart Failure Society @CanHFSociety

  • #hfchat2021 we encourage our patients to get the vaccine and discuss with their care provider.  See http://heartfailure.ca

The Heart Brothers Foundation @HeartBrothers1

  • For transplant patients, please consult w your Infectious Disease & Transplant teams. Our docs said @Pfizer  & @Moderna are safe for HF/LVAD/Transplant. Our co-founder had Pfizer shot #1 at @tuftsmedicalctr w no side effects. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #covidandtransplants
  • The first course of action is to always consult with your cardiologist. But, from our perspective as #transplantsurvivors, all available information we have received to date points to a resounding yes! Heart suit #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #covidandtransplants #lifeaftertransplant

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation @ISHLT

  • The #ISHLT #COVID19 Guidelines encourage immunization in patients with advanced heart or lung disease, #MCS and #PVD or in those awaiting or after cardiothoracic transplantation: https://ishlt.org/covid-19-information #HFChat2021
  • Heart failure patients are high-risk patients, so the sooner they are protected from the disease, the better. #HFChat2021 #COVID19

The Joe Beretta Foundation @ihearttjbf

  • Yes! Heart Failure would not preclude you from getting the COVID-19 Vaccine. Talk with your Doctor and caregiver about any other conditions you may have other than heart failure, that may rule you out. As always make sure you and your CG follow all CDC guidance #HFChat2021
Question 2: How can patients with heart failure avoid getting admitted to the hospital?
HFChat2021_Question2

Heart Failure Society of America @HFSA

  • Be on the lookout for ANY changes in how you feel or meds you may have missed and communicate that to your team immediately. If caught early, your care team can help manage you at home and prevent worsening heart failure #HFChat2021 #GDMT
  • Q2/A2: Be sure to tell your heart failure team about any new prescription medications or over the counter medicines you are started on. Some medications can worsen heart failure or interact with your heart medications. #HFChat2021 #GDMT

American Association of Heart Failure Nurses @AAHFN

  • Self care is important!  Check out our website for a patient empowerment tool created by the HF community. It lists great tips and tricks to avoiding hospitalizations!  #HFWeek2021
  • Communicate any changes with your team early! Remember, we are here to be a part of your care team and to help you be successful. #HFWeek2021

American College of Cardiology @ACCinTouch

  • These basic tips can help pts stay well & out of the hospital:
    ➡ Know your symptoms
    ➡ Know when to call your health care professional
    ➡ Take medications w/o missing a dose
    ➡ Limit salt & fluid intake
    ➡ Log weight every day
    https://bit.ly/2ZcgYQY #HFChat2021

American College of Clinical Pharmacy @ACCP

  • We may be biased Winking face, but taking HF medications as prescribed is such an important way to stay out of the hospital! Working with your care team to ensure you are on medications that work for you is essential! #hfchat2021
  • That includes talking to your team if you are having trouble affording your medications. There are many avenues we can take to help you get access to the medications you need, but we have to know if you need help! #HFChat2021

Canadian Heart Failure Society @CanHFSociety

  • #hfchat2021 Tracking medications, weight and symptoms are an important part of staying well.  Here's a patient diary we have available online https://heartfailure.ca/education/patient-resources

The Heart Brothers Foundation @HeartBrothers1

  • Patients with #heartfailure can avoid many hospital admissions simply by eating a very #lowsodiumdiet. Be sure to read labels and always look at the sodium PER PORTION. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #lifeaftertransplant #heartfailureawareness
  • Patients with #heartfailure can best avoid getting admitted to the hospital by staying steadfastly dedicated to their diet and medication regimens. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #lifeaftertransplant #heartfailureawareness

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation @ISHLT

  • Patients should plan to monitor their condition (BP, weight, symptoms) and communicate with their care team to prevent decompensation and improve home treatment. Thanks to @MartaFarrero, chair of our #HF and #HeartTx Interdisciplinary Network, for this reply! #HFChat2021

The Joe Beretta Foundation @ihearttjbf

  • Take your medications as prescribed and weigh yourself daily. Always follow sodium and fluid restrictions. Communicating with your physicians is key! Caregivers, make sure you are working with your loved one to follow those guidelines and get in some excercise! #HFChat2021

The Journal of Cardiac Failure @JCardFail

  • Team-based care from a multi-disciplinary group. Focus on engagement, communication and shared decision making with the patient and his/her caregiver(s) #HFChat2021 #HFWeek2021

Women Heart @WomenHeartOrg

  • Women with heart failure must monitor how they’re feeling, report worsening symptoms, strictly adhere to their medication plan and make necessary changes to diet and lifestyle. Here’s a tool for patients with heart failure: http://ow.ly/aaFM50DCCJN #HFChat2021
Question 3: What home monitoring devices and new technologies are available to patients and how do they help care teams monitor patients’ health?
HFChat2021_Question3

Heart Failure Society of America @HFSA

  • Mobile health technology uses wireless devices (smartphones or tablets) to capture health data, while wearables (Apple Watches or Fitbits) capture functional & physiological info like step count & heart rate that can be shared w/ your care team. #HFChat2021
  • Wearables can also come in less well-known forms that can be incorporated into clothing, worn as a ring or applied as a skin patch. These are often paired w/ a mobile device such as a smartphone where users can review their data. #HFChat2021

American College of Cardiology @ACCinTouch

  • ACC has been working with @heartbeat to provide members access to an innovative telehealth mobile-first model for #CVD management that incorporates low-cost devices and wearables. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2LZ6tNH #HFChat2021 #ACCInnovation
  • And check out this recent @JACCJournals Leadership Page by ACC President Dr. @athenapoppas, @DrJRums, and Dr. @jwessler on the future of #telehealth. https://bit.ly/3dqDj5p #JACC #CVD #HFChat2021

The Heart Brothers Foundation @HeartBrothers1

  • We have so many lifesaving options today. Defibrillators and pacers now wirelessly send interrogation reports. The #applewatch (and others) allow patients to self-monitor BP, HR, etc. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #lifeaftertransplant #heartfailureawareness
  • Early detection is key to proactive changes in medication and the trending of symptoms. Other devices #heartfailure patients rely on include: Entresto, ICD, ICM, LINQ II, and more. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #lifeaftertransplant #americanheartmonth

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation @ISHLT

  • Simpler can be better. Weight, BP, & system monitoring are the best tools. We’re learning a lot about new technologies in remote monitoring, especially during #COVID19. We’ll be discussing many of them at our Annual Meeting http://ishlt.org/ishlt2021 #ISHLT2021 #HFChat2021

The Joe Beretta Foundation @ihearttjbf

  • Patients at VUMC have had success with CardioMEMS especially with early heart failure stages. Blue Tooth scales that do auto reporting are a huge help not only to care providers, but patients and caregivers as well. #HFChat2021
Question 4: What signs should heart failure patients and caregivers look for to monitor for worsening heart failure?
HFChat2021_Question4

Heart Failure Society of America @HFSA

  • Changes in symptoms, such as shortness of breath, swelling in legs or belly, or reduced appetite, as well as changes to blood pressure, heart rate, or weight, should be communicated to your healthcare providers right away #HFChat2021

American Association of Heart Failure Nurses @AAHFN

  • changes to breathing, decreased stamina/endurance, new palpitations, increase in weight, and noticeable swelling are all possible signs of extra fluid and worsening HF. Remember, when in doubt, call! #HFWeek2021

American College of Cardiology @ACCinTouch

  • Follow the #HeartFailure Stoplight to know when to call 911:
    Green heart= No shortness of breath, no swelling, no chest pain
    Yellow heart= Difficulty breathing, more swelling, dizziness, no energy
    Red heart = Hard time breathing, chest pain, confusion
    https://bit.ly/3aVuDkG #HFChat2021

American College of Clinical Pharmacy @ACCP

  • Aside from your breathing, weight, swelling, and blood pressure, no one knows your body better than you! If something feels "not right", even if it's hard to describe, tell your care team about it! #HFChat2021

Canadian Heart Failure Society @CanHFSociety

  • #hfchat2021 Very important info @ACCinTouch! Here's another concept for the Green Yellow Red symptoms from on patient diary on http://heartfailure.ca

The Heart Brothers Foundation @HeartBrothers1

  • Additional #heartfailuresymptoms to look for - lack of stamina, weight gain (of more than 3 lbs/day), and trouble sleeping while lying flat or with only one pillow. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #heartfailureawareness #americanheartmonth
  • Always be mindful of these tell-tale #heartfailuresymptoms - fatigue, swelling of the abdomen, swelling of the ankles, shortness of breath, and increased urination. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #lifeaftertransplant #americanheartmonth

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation @ISHLT

  • Key indicators of worsening HF: shortness of breath, leg swelling, trouble laying flat, excessive fatigue, or quick weight gain. If you notice any of these as a patient or caregiver, don’t wait: call your doctor or care team. #HFChat2021

The Joe Beretta Foundation @ihearttjbf

  • Swelling in legs or belly, shortness of breath, abnormal fatigue and nausea, weight gain, a dry cough, trouble lying flat. Caregivers, you know your loved one better than anyone. If they aren't able to see what's happening be their voice! #HFChat2021

The Journal of Cardiac Failure @JCardFail

  • Great resources summarizing common symptoms and action plans available for patients, caregivers and clinicians @HFSA website https://hfsa.org/risk-assessment-toolkit #HFChat2021 #HFWeek2021

Women Heart @WomenHeartOrg

  • It’s important that patients trust what their body is telling them and call their provider if something feels wrong, which may include shortness of breath, unexpected exhaustion or difficulty breathing. #HFChat2021
Question 5: How can care providers advocate for and improve heart failure patient care and outcomes?
HFChat2021_Question5

Heart Failure Society of America @HFSA

  • It’s a team effort! Caregivers: encourage your family member to take medications as prescribed and follow sodium and fluid restrictions if recommended by their doctor. Patients: Communicate openly w/ your ENTIRE support team! #HFChat2021
  • Caregivers & Patients: no question is a silly question! Understanding your loved one’s condition and the best ways to help improve their condition will help you advocate for what is best for them #HFChat2021
  • Ask questions, stay informed, & share your stories! During office visits, w/ family/friends, & even w/ your local, state, federal reps. Hearing YOUR stories can be incredibly impactful for other patients, caregivers, providers, & the future of healthcare. #HFChat2021
  • Not sure who represents you at the state, local, and national level? Visit https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org to find your representatives and how to contact them. #HFChat2021

American College of Clinical Pharmacy @ACCP

  • One thing that @HFSA and other organizations have done a great job of is to embrace the role of the multidisciplinary team. Different specialty areas bring varying perspectives, which is imperative to patient care! #HFChat2021

Canadian Heart Failure Society @CanHFSociety

  • Awareness is so important.  #HFchat2021 #HFWeek2021 are important initiatives.  In Flag of Canada #HeartFailureWeekCan will be May 3rd-9th with partners including 
    @HeartLifeCanada! Hope u all can join us! https://heartfailure.ca/education/national-heart-failure-awareness-week

The Heart Brothers Foundation @HeartBrothers1

  • Attend your loved one's clinic visits. Share observations he/she may not even notice. Take notes of all changes, create questions, bring the questions to meetings, & go through them ALL. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #transplantsurvivors #heartfailureawareness #hearthealthmonth
  • Truly understand what each medication does and what side effects there can be. Always ask about interactions between medications. Memorize the preferred timing of all medications. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #heartfailuremedication #heartfailureawareness
  • Support #heartfailure organizations and patient advocacy groups like the @HFSA & @HeartBrothers1. Act as an educator to friends and associates on the many sober facts about heart failure. It could save a life! #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #heartfailureawareness

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation @ISHLT

  • Caregivers and patients alike: communication with your care team is so important. When questions come up at home, write them down and bring them to appointments or communicate them via #telehealth. They’re all relevant, and your team has answers! #HFChat2021
  • Caregivers can also help keep HF patients motivated and organized to take their meds and follow doctor instructions at home—not to mention all the valuable moral support they need to keep a positive outlook. #HFChat2021

The Joe Beretta Foundation @ihearttjbf

  • Making sure the patient is on guideline directed medical therapy for HF that is evidence based and referring patients to advanced HF specialists early, rather than late. Also, familiarizing yourself with Human service options available in treatment cities. #HFchat2021
  • Also, clinicians need to understand the fear associated with heart failure treatments and work with patients and caregivers to overcome that fear or stigma to achieve the best medical outcomes. #HFchat2021
     

Women Heart @WomenHeartOrg

  • It’s critical that providers listen to patients and center their needs in the care plan. Here’s a resource for prioritizing patient-centered care for heart failure patients. https://womenheart.org/heartfailurecharter/ #HFChat2021
  • For many, especially younger women, receiving a #heartfailure diagnosis is often delayed because they’re not listened to or symptoms are not recognized. Clinicians must acknowledge their own biases & be educated about how to diagnose heart failure in women. #HFChat2021
Question 6: How can care providers advocate for and improve heart failure patient care and outcomes?
HFChat2021_Question6

Heart Failure Society of America @HFSA

  • The HFSA Patient Hub has a lot of great resources - including links to external resources for financial and other patient support. Visit the Hub here: https://hfsa.org/patient #HFChat2021
  • Also included in the Hub are patient tools and resources, such as education to identify risk factors and symptoms, the patient webinar series, and the Heart Failure Beat Healthy Living podcast #HFChat2021
  • Want to connect with other patients and caregivers, as well as heart failure specialists, to discuss heart failure? Keep an eye on the HFSA website for more information about the HFSA Patient and Caregiver Day! #HFChat2021
     
  • Join HFSA and other patient advocacy groups! HFSA is now offering FREE membership for patients living w/ heart failure who want to share their stories and make an impact on the future of #HF. Interested? Email us membership@hfsa.org #HFChat2021

American Association of Heart Failure Nurses @AAHFN

  • Check out Together in HF! This is a great spot for access to patient education and resources. #HFWeek2021

American College of Cardiology @ACCinTouch

  •  @CardioSmart offers tools and resources for patients, caregivers & the full care team in an all-encompassing condition center. Find information on signs/symptoms, exams & tests, treatment options, & how to live well with #heartfailure: https://bit.ly/30FLsf4 #HFChat2021

American College of Clinical Pharmacy @ACCP

  • The Patient Hub on the @HFSA  site is a wealth of fantastic resources, including webinars, podcasts, and other valuable tools for patients and caregivers: https://hfsa.org/patient #HFChat2021

Canadian Heart Failure Society @CanHFSociety

  • #hfchat2021 So proud to work with @HeartLifeCanada. Go to http://heartlife.ca and check out their #WeCan campaign.
  • #HFchat2021 of course we're continuing to add to our patient resource page as well https://heartfailure.ca/education/patient-resources.  Educational animation videos coming soon!!

Children's Cardiomyopathy Foundation @CCFheartkids

  • For those with cardiomyopathy and specifically families and children with pediatric cardiomyopathy, our website offer a wealth of information http://childrenscardiomyopathy.org @HFSA #hfchat2021 #HeartMonth
  • CCF created Pediatric Heart Failure: A Guide for Parents and Families. This guidebook provides a comprehensive overview of heart failure, including signs and symptoms, diagnostic testing, medications, and advanced heart failure therapies. http://bit.ly/ccfheartfailure #hfchat2021
  • Would also like to highlight CCF's robust family community for those looking to connect with other families https://ccf.groupsite.com #cardiomyopathy #heartmonth #HFChat2021

The Heart Brothers Foundation @HeartBrothers1

  • Never hesitate to as your heart failure medical center, cardiologist, and clinicians directly. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #heartfailureawareness #heartfailuresupportgroup #transplantsurvivors #lifeaftertransplant
  • Start with your #heartfailure medical center, cardiologist, and clinicians. Then seek out online HF support groups--but do NOT take medical advice from anyone but your licensed MD, RN, NP, or PA! #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #heartfailureawareness #heartfailuresupportgroup
  • The @HFSA website (under "patient info") is the Gold Standard! Regional orgs like ours offer peer-to-peer support from #transplantsurvivors, & financial aid for hospital stays & family support. #HFchat2021 #HFweek2021 #heartfailureawareness #heartfailuresupportgroupf

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation @ISHLT

  • Well, this thread is a great place to start! As a Society supporting healthcare professionals, we recommend patients build relationships with their healthcare team: your surgeon, doctor, nurse, VAD coordinator, or patient advocacy expert. They’re there to help! #HFChat2021

The Joe Beretta Foundation @ihearttjbf

  • @MyLVAD is a great resource for HF education. Organizations like ourselves,@HeartBrothers1 or @WomenHeartOrg are serving communities and if not able to help a patient themselves always try to point patients towards other resources. #HFchat2021

The Journal of Cardiac Failure @JCardFail

  • @JCardFail, we're excited to launch the "Patient and Caregiver Center" section of the journal. @jilliannec and @DrMarthaGulati helping lead our efforts to provide a platform for sharing patient and caregiver stories & insights.

Women Heart @WomenHeartOrg

  • It’s a lot to manage and adapt to living with #heartfailure. But women are not alone. WomenHeart provides support groups (now all virtual) and one-on-one peer support. https://womenheart.org/find-support/ #HFChat2021
  • WomenHeart has a wealth of resources on heart failure for women, including fact sheets and videos. https://womenheart.org/heartfailure/ #HFChat2021
  • WomenHeart wants to empower patients. We created a set of videos, with the support of Novartis, to answer women’s commonly asked questions about living with heart failure. See the How We Fight Campaign: https://womenheart.org/howwefight/ #HFChat2021