Caring for yourself when you have heart failure is mainly about staying as well and as healthy as possible. One way to stay well is to minimise the risk of getting respiratory infections like influenza (flu) or pneumonia, as respiratory problems can make heart failure worse.

Safe vaccines that can provide immunity against flu and pneumonia are available. You should discuss having these vaccines with your nurse or doctor who will be able to advise you in more detail about them.

When travelling, your travel agent will advise you on the immunisations or medications, for example malaria tablets, that may be required for your destination.

If you take anticoagulant medicines your doctor or nurse may advise a different vaccination programme, which may need to be started earlier than the usual vaccination schedule.

ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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