What is a heart attack?
The clinical name for a heart attack is a myocardial infarction. Your heart is a muscle an in order to operate it needs a blood supply. The blood to the heart muscle comes through the coronary arteries. A heart attack happens when the flow of blood is blocked and the heart muscle cannot get oxygen. The blood flow needs to be restored quickly.
You may experience chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath upper body discomfort, a cold sweat, nausea, back pain when you are having a heart attack.
It is important that you call 999 or 112 straight away so you can get to the hospital and the blood flow can be restored as soon as possible.
There has been a build-up of plaque in the arteries (Diagram 2). Eventually a piece of plaque can break off and a clot forms. The clot then becomes large enough, it can partly or completely block the artery.
To treat this you may be given a clot buster or may go the catheterization laboratory for stenting. You will also be started on a number of medications. Your risk factors of heart disease will be identified and you will be given advice on exercise and diet as well as other lifestyle modifications.
What do I do after I leave hospital if I had a heart attack?
After you leave hospital it is important that comply with you medication and adhere to the dietary advice that you received in the hospital. You can gradually increase your walking from 10 minutes per day to 30 minutes per day over a 6 week period.
After a heart attack most people will go through a grief process which means that you may be angry at time or quite despondent. This can be the most challenging part of your recovery.
Two to six weeks after your heart attack you can partake in a cardiac rehabilitation programme which will consist of risk factor medication and exercise training.
Heart 2 Heart Cardiac Physiotherapy offer cardiac rehabilitation programmes in Mount Merrion Community Centre, UCD Sport and Kilcullen Business Campus.
Programmes take place on:
- Mondays at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm and 5.30pm in Mount Merrion Community Centre,
- Tuesdays 8am, 9am and 10.30am in UCD Sport,
- Wednesdays 11am, 2pm, 3.30pm & 5pm in Kilcullen Business Campus.
Karen Cradock, Specialist Cardiac Physiotherapist, B.Physio, MSc, Heart 2 Heart Cardiac Physiotherapy,
Unit 5, Kilcullen Business Campus, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. www.h2hcardiacphysio.com, email@example.com, 045484000, 0877667465.