After you've survived a heart attack, you've got a lot to learn about and a lot to think about. While in the good old days you might have had a week or two of hospitalization to go through all the testing, risk assessment, education, and initiation of therapy necessary to optimize your long-term prognosis, today whatever is going to get done must happen in the first three (or four, if you've got a liberal health plan) days.
Doctors and hospitals have mobilized nicely to provide adequate acute care for the patient showing up with an acute heart attack. But too often, many have dropped the ball when it comes to giving appropriate care after those first critical hours.
The key to successfully navigating your way to a long, healthy life after a heart attack is - YOU. You need to insist that the appropriate tests are done, the appropriate referrals are made, and the appropriate medications are begun. To this end, here is a convenient checklist of the things that should be done -- ideally before you even leave the hospital -- after your heart attack.