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Traffic Light Booklet

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Self-Management and Action Plan for Heart Failure


This is your personal management plan

The aim of this plan is to help you have better control of your heart failure. It will enable you to monitor your symptoms and to know what to do if you have deterioration. The traffic light system will help you monitor symptoms and alert if change to treatment is needed.

Each Day as Part of your Daily Routine

  • Make sure you take your medications
  • When you get up each morning weigh yourself and write it down to compare to yesterday’s weight
  • Check for swelling in your feet, ankles, legs and tummy - using a finger to press the skin to check for any pitting
  • Ask yourself if your breathing pattern is the same as usual for you
  • Eat foods low in salt and avoid using salt substitutes – they are high in potassium
  • Aim to drink only as much fluid as your limit allows


Green Zone – All clear

You’re Condition Is Stable if………………

  • Your breathing is stable for you
  • Your weight is stable
  • You have no new or increased swelling in feet,  ankles, legs or tummy
  • Your appetite remains the same
  • You do not feel more tired than usual, with no decrease in your usual activity level


What this means:

  • Your symptoms are under control
  • Continue taking your medications as directed
  • Continue weighing yourself daily (keep a record)
  • Follow low salt diet
  • Keep all medical/nurse  appointments

Your goal weight:


Amber Zone – Caution

Contact your cardiac nurse Or GP if……………….

  • Weight gain of 2 or more pounds in 2 days
  • You have lost your appetite
  • Your ankles, feet, legs or tummy feel more swollen than usual
  • Increase in the number of pillows needed
  • Your breathing is causing you to have a restless night’s sleep
  • You are coughing more than usual
  • You are feeling more tired than usual and are sleeping a lot more

Contact your GP or Community Heart Failure nurse:

Name: ________________________

Number: ______________________


Contact your GP immediately If you have ……………..

  • Unrelieved shortness of breath/shortness of breath at rest
  • Unrelieved chest pain
  • Wheezing or chest tightness at rest
  • Need to sit in a chair to sleep
  • Weight gain or loss of more than 4 pounds in 2 days


What this means:

  • This indicates that you need to be evaluated by a medical professional right away

Contact Your GP Immediately


Name: ________________________

Number: ______________________

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