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Frequently Asked Questions

I had a recent heart attack. How can I prevent another one?

Doctors have become quite adept in the past few years at rapidly and aggressively treating acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks.)  By quickly administering “clot busting” drugs, or by rapidly opening up the occluded coronary artery using angioplasty, cardiologists can significantly limit the damage caused by an acute heart attack.

Unfortunately, the medical profession has been slower to take the next step – to do those things that have been proven to improve long-term survival after a heart attack.  These tasks include placing patients on appropriate medications, and thoroughly educating them on risk factor reduction.  If doctors followed up appropriately after acute heart attacks, tens of thousands of lives would be saved each year.

No doubt doctors will get better at this as time goes by.  But if you have had a recent heart attack, don’t wait for your doctor to act.  If you do, the wait may be very costly.  So take the initiative.

Here is a check list of those tasks that should be done (or at least carefully considered) for every patient who has had a heart attack.  Go over this list, and make sure your doctor has addressed with you each and every item on the list.  If he/she hasn’t, then it is up to you to address it with your doctor.

Click here for a more detailed discussion of how to live for a long time after a heart attack.

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