Guidance from the CCS COVID-19 Rapid Response Team and the CHFS
- COVID-19 and concerns regarding use of ACEi/ARB/ARNi medications for heart failure or hypertension
- Applying Ongoing Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic Towards Optimal Cardiovascular Care in Canada
CHFS Position Statement
People with heart failure should be offered COVID-19 vaccination if they are eligible and no contraindications exist. For information about staying safe during COVID, please click here to download a patient resource developed by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF).
For information regarding authorized COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, please click here.
COVID-19 and Heart Failure: A message for patients from the Canadian Heart Failure Society
What we know about the COVID-19 pandemic (also referred to as Coronavirus) is changing quickly. Every day we are learning more and more about the virus, how it’s transmitted and how it affects those who have it. Because you are likely hearing about COVID-19 from many different sources, we want to ensure you receive accurate information about your health and well-being, and what to do during this crisis.
Why is it important that I learn about COVID-19?
· are 65 years old and older, and/or
· have a compromised immune system, and/or
· have underlying medical conditions, such as heart failure,
you have a higher risk of getting very sick if you contract COVID-19.
Even if you are at higher risk of getting very sick, there are ways that you can protect yourself and your family.
What websites have reliable information about COVID-19?
The Public Health Agency of Canada has very important information for ways that you can protect yourself and family from COVID-19. We encourage you to visit their website for reliable and up-to-date information.
The World Health Organization has information about COVID-19 in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese on their website.
Should I keep taking all my heart medications?
You should continue to take all your medications as prescribed, unless instructed differently by your care team. There are reports in the news that some heart medications may increase your risk of COVID-19. There is no evidence to suggest this is true. In fact, if you stop some of your heart medications you may feel worse from your heart failure and need medical attention.
What should I do if I have appointments booked?
During a COVID-19 outbreak in your area, it is wise to stay home as much as possible to lower your risk of being exposed. We also know that regular appointments with your health care team help keep your heart failure under control.
Rather than cancel your appointment, call ahead to learn about the arrangements your health care provider is making. For example, many places are offering appointments over the phone or over the internet as a ‘virtual visit’.
What if I feel unwell?
If you think you may have COVID-19, there should be a specific number to call in your province or area. They may direct you to a COVID-19 test location. If you need to leave your home for medical care, call ahead and tell them you have symptoms and a heart condition.
If you have a fever, use Tylenol-based products. Anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Advil or Aleve may make your heart failure symptoms worse.
If you think your heart failure is not well controlled, please contact your medical provider (heart failure clinic, primary care physician, internist, etc.).
What if I am worried and feeling isolated?
There are many others like you living with heart failure in Canada who feel the same way. Our patient partner organization, HeartLife Canada, has additional resources, created by patients and caregivers, for patients and caregivers. You can join their online support group on their website.