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Preparing for Heart Failure Practical

Learn more about preparing for heart failure practical.

The aim of this practical is to investigate the effects of heart failure. We will do this by using a simple hand soap dispenser to mimic the effects of the heart pumping. This is an optional exercise, so if you aren’t able to do the practical, or would rather not that’s fine. However, you should watch the videos of the practical in the next few steps.

Before starting this practical make sure that you have the following items on a tray or large plate ready to use:

  • Instruction sheet
  • Worksheet
  • Pen/pencil to write with
  • Apron
  • Sink area (or if not possible access to a tap and use of a washing up bowl or bucket)
  • 1 liter measuring jug with 100mL increments marked on it
  • Pump from a manual soap dispenser (this can be returned to the soap bottle after the practical)
  • Large glass or plastic cup
  • Timer/clock with second hand
  • Calculator
  • Access to hot soapy water
  • Paper towels or dishcloth
  • Suitable disinfectant
  • Waste bag

Download a printable version of the Week 3 home practical guide: Investigating heart failure.

You might like to share photos or even videos of your home lab or your heart failure practical, in which case you’ll also need a camera or other suitable device. If you’re taking the photos or video yourself, remember to dry your hands. You might find it easier to ask a friend or family member to take photos or videos for you. You can share your images and films on the Heart Health Padlet wall. Please note this Padlet wall includes images and observations from a previous run of this course, which can be added to.

How to use Padlet

Find out how to use Padlet by reading the guide in the FutureLearn FAQ.

Health and Safety

All of the practicals in this course are optional. Practical work aims to apply the theory already covered, enabling a deeper understanding of the material. If you are unable to or do not wish to carry out the practicals, it is still recommended that you watch the videos to gain a better understanding of the subject, and so that you are able to take part in discussions. This practical involves working with water and a manual soap dispenser. There are four main risks associated with this practical:

  • Risk of injury through overuse of unaccustomed muscles in the forearm and hand (STOP the practice immediately if you experience any pain).
  • Risk of slipping and falling on spilled water. Water poses a slip hazard, particularly as this has the potential to be a messy practical.
  • Risk of water damage to your mobile device. Protect your mobile device by placing it inside a clear plastic bag and keeping it away from the immediate work area.
  • Risk of injury from broken glass. Take care if using a glass measuring jug.

People who may wish to NOT participate in the practical:

  • Those with hand or forearm weakness or injury.
© University of Reading
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Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease

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