CHF help

Specialties Cardiac


As much as I like to think I understand everything there is to know about nursing :rolleyes: , I don't. We're covering CHF, and I was just wondering if anyone knows of any websites that are especially helpful with explaining L/R side heart failure in actual English. Maybe a nurse resource site or patient education site? My future exam grade thanks you!!! :p

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Here's a little mnemonic that always helped me:

L is for Left-sided heart failure, and it'll put fluid into the LUNGS.

R is for Right-sided heart failure, and it'll put fluid into the REST of the body (or, the tissues). This is where you'll see dependent edema. It usually settles in the patient's feet, but if the patient is bed-bound, you'll see it in the pubic area, scrotum, hands and sacrum.

Remember too, that R-sided heart failure will progress to L-sided heart failure at some point.

CHF is a chronic illness and the biggest thing that patients have to do is LOWER THEIR SALT INTAKE.

The best indicator of CHF is not a chest x-ray, it's a lab test called the BNP.

kahumai, RN

304 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry.

Duh! I normally use Medline Plus all the time, but didn't think they'd have anything. And that mnemonic is awesome - totally helped clarify what I already knew. Thanks a bunch!! :D


another great website is HeartCenter Online.

It has tons of information from the disease itself, to medications, to exercise and diet tips for cardiac patients.

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