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How Does a Heart Attack Change Your Life?

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm 2 Comments
ANNOUNCER: After a person has experienced a heart attack, a full recovery can depend on what happens as soon as they leave the hospital.

DAVID F. KONG, MD: When you leave the hospital, you usually are able to walk, climb stairs and do other things necessary to be safe at home. So as a result, it's important to provide patients with cardiac rehabilitation, supervised exercise that's designed to train the remaining heart muscle to be able to sustain the needs of the patient.

ANNOUNCER: Sometimes the period after a heart attack can be difficult for patients.

DAVID R. HOLMES, Jr., MD: After having a myocardial infarction, a heart attack, there are good changes that can happen and there are bad changes. Depression is a significant problem. Someone comes in with a heart attack that had felt fine, and all of a sudden now their life has changed because they've had a heart attack. And so depression is often unrecognized, often undertreated, but is a major problem following a heart attack.

ANNOUNCER: Preventing a second heart attack is a priority for patients. They will need to control cholesterol levels through diet, increase physical activity on a gradual basis and avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke. And medications also play a part in prevention.

DAVID R. HOLMES, Jr., MD: The medications that are the standby medications that now become part of the patient's life indefinitely would be continued use of aspirin, number one; would be one of the group of medications called statins, which lower cholesterol, and they have other effects, and they should be on that. We oftentimes prescribe a beta blocker, which makes the heart a little bit more efficient. And then what's called an ACE inhibitor, which lowers the blood pressure, but it also stabilizes the blood vessel wall.

ANNOUNCER: Most people can resume their normal activities in a short period of time.

DAVID R. HOLMES, Jr., MD: We know that with the treatments that we currently provide for patients, they're getting back to work much sooner. In the past, it used to be with a myocardial infarction, a heart attack, patients would be put to bed rest for a long time, weeks. Now we get them up, moving. We have them be involved with physical therapy and exercise training very early on. So within a matter of a few weeks, many patients can return to not physical labor, but to doing other tasks that might be work-related.

Our goals are to improve the patient's function and to return them to a fully satisfactory life. We're not going to make them younger. Whatever age they are, they are. But we can improve the quality of their life, and hopefully the quantity of their life.

Comments (2)
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In the cases of heart attack and cardiac arrest, or any other heart shocks, time sets to be the most crucial factor for the survival of the patient. Sometimes, a little knowledge regarding the immediate actions to be taken may help your near and dear ones to survive in such incidents. Keith Churchwell has extraordinarily explained the pros and cons while handling patient suffering immediate heart attack or cardiac arrest. The response a person takes to treat a victim decides the probability of his/her survival. Its been my personal experience fighting to survive against a heart attack. A quick recognization of your bodily responses may increase your chances of survival. Because of having many heart problems, I was enrolled in a concierge Healthcare program from elite health. I was attacked by a severe heart attack in a party, luckily surrounded by many people. Some of the sudden changes in my body was recognized by me and anticipated immediately. I got a very severe chest pain which was almost unbearable for more than a minute. I got the suspicion that I might be having heart attack, and immediately called my physician on the phone, and explained my condition and its severity. Because of the immediate guidance, I was directed immediately to have an aspirin which I used to carry with me as prescribed by my physician. It was quite a frightening experience for me to face such a heart attack, but somehow I managed to be calm until 911 arrived. I was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where already my physician were present and have got everything setup according to my medical history. And it was in some matter of seconds that everything was in control. A doctor, who already have the complete knowledge of the medical history and fitness of the person, extra ordinarily ameliorate your recovery process. Hence such a concierge level program from Elite health, helped me a save my life, like many others.

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