Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Heart Attack Rehabilitative Care

People who suffered from Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) require long process for recovery. This will influence greater changes in their life. They need to understand the situation because it affects their eating pattern, activities, drug regimens and intervals of consultation. Moreover, rehabilitative care after myocardial infarction provides emphasis on health plan that can reduce their risk from getting another attack and complications.

Most individuals who suffered from MI will be discharged after 3 to 5 days of hospitalization. However, the extent of hospitalization can be longer if the person had undergone surgery. 

Other times, they remain for longer period in the hospital if they have developed complications. The doctor (cardiologist) will not allow the person to go home until their vital signs are stable.

After being discharge from hospitalization, it is best that the folks (family and significant others) should learn the discharge health plan. The family plays an important role for adjusting the life of the person who suffered from heart attack. 

The discharge health plan is part of the rehabilitative care which includes:


Most individual who suffered from heart attack are discharged from the hospital with drug prescriptions. These drugs should be taken religiously. Some of the drugs can help the person to live longer while other medications can treat or prevent the symptoms of MI (chest pain). 

Person with MI should expect the following drugs: 

  1. Aspirin (to prevent the development of blood clots)
  2. Beta-blockers (protects the heart from stress and prevents the recurrence of symptoms. It normalizes the heart rate and blood pressure)
  3. Nitrates (It promotes proper blood flow to the cardiac muscle “myocardium”)
  4. ACE Inhibitors (Enhances the function of the heart and reduces the damage from the heart due to MI. It helps lower the blood pressure)
  5. Statins (Stabilizes the deposited fats in the arteries which block the blood supply to the heart. It also helps lower the cholesterol level in the blood) 


People who suffered from heart attack are recommended to join a well-structured cardiac rehab program. This program enhances the physiologic function of the heart. It also helps reduce the risk of recurrence and impending death. This program also provides activities that can prevent them from having complications to the heart. 

The cardiac rehab programs provide activities such as: 

  1. Exercises (Cardio-exercises are commonly applied because it helps identify the capacity of the heart to accommodate the pressure. This includes treadmill. The clinician and nurse usually accompany the person who suffered from heart attack during exercises. Aerobic exercises such as jogging, brisk walking, swimming and stair climbing is included.
  2. Identifying and reducing the risk factors (Health education related to smoking, alcohol ingestion, eating of healthy foods and prevention of other unhealthy activities)
  3. Means of dealing emotional crisis (This involves the health plan on how to manage anxiety, stress and possible development of depression. People who suffered from heart attack often feel hopeless. This is the reason why cardiac rehab program included this activity in order for them to know the means on how to ventilate their feelings.
Participating with cardiac rehab programs and following the discharge plan of the doctor are the most effective way on how to recover from MI. Additionally, the family of the person with MI should participate in the provision of rehabilitative care. 

Furthermore, the cooperation of the individual with MI must be reinforced positively. Through this, the management for recovery will have better outcome – By Edterchelle Soriano