Myocardial Infarction: This is how the aftercare succeeds

Approximately 300, 000 people suffer a heart attack in Germany every year, but just under two-thirds of them survive the first four weeks afterward. But even when the acute danger is banned, the fear of how it goes on remains. Quite justified - about one third of the survivors will suffer another heart attack. Concern about physical disability, the question of how everyday life at work and family changes, the fear of having a heart attack again and succumbing to it next time - the initial relief of surviving it quickly vanishes Future. However, the heart attack patient can do a lot of things himself, provided he is ready - with professional help and support from his family - to adapt his lifestyle to the new situation.

After heart attack: treatment initially inpatient

Already in the acute care clinic, the first measures for aftercare. First, the life-threatening situation is brought under control and the patient is cared for the first days in intensive care. To prevent complications, a early mobilization is sought. Depending on the severity of the heart attack, the patient is already required on the first or second day: In the beginning, he will help with personal hygiene and perform light exercises, which will gradually be increased. After just one to two weeks, he should be able to go short distances or even climb stairs. The extent and speed of mobilization are tailored by professionals to the particular heart attack patient.

After hospitalization, it is best to go directly to a rehabilitation facility lasting approximately three weeks (follow-up treatment = AHB). The application is best made during the hospital stay. The aim of the AHB is to improve physical performance, to help with coping with the disease, to educate the person concerned about the causes, risk factors and consequences of his illness and to show him ways of positively influencing these factors.

Help with the conversion

To get the most out of this time, it's important to start with an accurate diagnosis of the current condition and find the optimal drug dosage. Only when the heart condition is stabilized can be started with exercise and relaxation training, nutrition seminars and psychosocial counseling. There is a staff of appropriately trained doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists and social workers.

These ensure that the heart attack patient not only optimally uses the time during the rehabilitation, but also prepares for the life after. Thus, the topics of work, retraining, family and the mediation of cardio or self-help groups are given sufficient space. For patients who do not want to spend this time without their family, there are also outpatient rehabilitation offers in so-called day clinics.

Heart attack: Outpatient follow-up

After the heart attack sufferer is back home, the work really starts. Only if the measures taken are permanently maintained can they have a positive effect and reduce the risk of a renewed heart attack. Research has shown that unfortunately the practice often looks different - after only a few weeks, many patients had fallen back into old patterns of behavior.

They did not take their medications regularly, smoked again, ate as unhealthily and irregularly as before, had stress at work, and spent their evenings in front of the TV instead of taking a walk. No wonder the scales showed more pounds again, the blood pressure shot up again and the cholesterol levels climbed to dangerous heights. And that's not surprising that several people found themselves with a second or third heart attack in the clinic.

Self-responsibility is necessary

In order to avoid a renewed heart attack, self-responsibility and self-discipline are required. Stepping down and recognizing limits, reducing stress, dealing patiently and cautiously with oneself and consistently changing one's lifestyles are vital prerequisites for the person affected.

The regular visit to the family doctor first half-yearly, then annually should be just as natural as regular exercise. Particularly suitable are endurance sports such as:

  • fast walking
  • slow running
  • To go biking
  • hike
  • cross-country skiing

Particularly helpful is an individually tailored and controlled training under medical and physiotherapeutic supervision. Serve with "coronary sports groups", which also allow contact with other victims. Self-help groups for those affected and relatives provide additional support and encouragement, especially through the exchange of experience.

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