According to researchers from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, there are nine critical care steps that need to be incorporated into each post-heart attack treatment plan. Researchers found if one of the nine steps was missed heart-attack patients had an increased risk of premature death.
The study, based on data collected from 31,000 heart attack patients from 2007 to 2010, found that patients who did not receive all nine identified treatments had a 46 percent higher chance of dying within one month after they left the hospital and a 74 percent higher chance of dying within in one year of discharge.
All the steps begin while under the care of a healthcare clinician. But, the first and most important step is the responsibility of the patient – getting to the hospital at the first sign of heart attack. The patient also needs to make a commitment to the medication therapy and cardiac rehabilitation programs after discharge.
The nine critical steps needed after heart attack are:
- Having an electrocardiogram within a few hours after symptoms develop
- Use of aspirin right away
- Restoration of blood flow to the heart
- Taking the prescription for aspirin after discharge
- Timely use of ACE inhibitors
- Timely use of beta-blockers
- Timely use of angiotensin receptor blockers
- Timely use of statins
- Cardiac rehabilitation after discharge
It is important for the healthcare clinician and the patient work together to make sure that all nine critical steps are completed for the best outcome.
After a heart attack, it is the patient’s responsibility to take medications exactly as prescribed and follow through with cardiac rehabilitation.
If you feel discomfort in your chest , pain in your chest, arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach and experience shortness of breath , don’t wait to see if it will pass. Dial 911 and get to the hospital. You could be having a heart attack. Fast action can save your life and your quality of life.