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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Discharge Instructions for Heart AttackDischarge Instructions for Heart AttackInstrucciones de alta para el ataque card­acoDischarge Instructions for Heart AttackDischarge Instructions for Heart Attack

Discharge Instructions for Heart Attack

You have had a heart attack. Also called a myocardial infarction, a heart attack occurs when a vessel supplying the heart with blood suddenly becomes blocked. Follow these guidelines for home care and lifestyle changes.

Home Care

  • 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.

Lifestyle Changes

  • 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.

When to Seek Medical Attention

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.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-04-01T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2007-12-21T00:00:00-07:00

Jay L. Jordan, MD, is an experienced cardiologist and internal medicine physician who provides a comprehensive range of cardiac care services in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas and nearby communities. Take the first step in preventing and controlling heart disease with symptoms such as angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, carotid artery disease, chest pain, congestive heart failure, coronary vascular disease, hypertension, palpitations, shortness of breath and stroke. Call Dr. Jay L. Jordan at 310-854-5493 or request an appointment online.

Patient Reviews

I came in for a routine physical and everything went great. Dr. Jordan was amazing. Would recommend coming to see Dr. Jordan all the time.

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