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You have had a heart attack. Also known as acute myocardial infarction, or AMI, a heart attack occurs when a vessel supplying the heart with blood suddenly becomes blocked. Follow these guidelines for home care and lifestyle changes.
Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.
Remember that recovery after a heart attack takes time. Plan to rest for at least 4-8 weeks while you recover. Then return to normal activity when your doctor says it’s okay.
Ask your doctor about joining a heart rehabilitation program.
Tell your doctor if you are feeling depressed. Feelings of sadness are common after a heart attack, but it is important that you speak to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed by these feelings.
If you are having chest pain, call 911 for an ambulance. Do NOT drive yourself to the hospital.
Ask your family members to learn CPR.
Learn to take your own blood pressure and pulse. Keep a record of your results. Ask your doctor when you should seek emergency medical attention. He or she will tell you which blood pressure reading is dangerous.
Maintain a healthy weight. Get help to lose any extra pounds.
Cut back on salt.
Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.
Don’t add salt to your food.
Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.
Break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success.
Limit fatty foods.
Check your lipid levels regularly. (Your doctor can show you how to do this.)
Build up your activity according to your doctor’s recommendation.
Ask your doctor when it’s okay to resume sexual activity.
Tell your doctor about any erectile dysfunction (ED) medication you are taking. Some ED medications are not safe if you take certain heart medications.
Try to manage stress.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
Call 911 right away if you have:
Chest pain that is not relieved by medication.
Shortness of breath.
Otherwise, call your doctor immediately if you have:
Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
Feeling of irregular heartbeat or fast pulse.
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