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Diagnosis Specific Programs: Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)

Compassionate Care’s next diagnosis specific program is Myocardial Infarction (heart attack).

What is a Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)?

A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is cut off. Cells in the heart that do not receive enough oxygen-carrying blood begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.

The heart is made up of muscle. Like any muscle in the body, this muscle must be continuously fed by oxygen-carrying blood. Any interruption in this supply will result in damage to the heart muscle.

Anything that interferes with normal blood flow can increase the risk of heart attack. Cholesterol plaques in the blood stream are a contributing factor to many heart attacks.

Empowering You and Your Loved One

Heart Attacks are very frightening and stressful experiences. But life after a heart attack is possible and Compassionate Care strives to provide necessary support for heart attack survivors.

Compassionate Care believes every individual has the right to understand their plan of care, to make choices about supports and services they receive, to live with dignity, and to live as independently as possible.

Compassionate Care supports individuals affected by heart attacks by providing high quality, proactive, result oriented and compassionate care for each client in the comfort of home.

Client Goals:

  • No chest/upper body pain or discomfort
  • No shortness of breath
  • No change in level of independence
  • No unintended change in weight
  • Avoid recurrence of heart attack


  • Know the symptoms of heart attack
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body including the arms, back, neck, jaw and stomach.
    • Shortness of breath
    • Other accompanying symptoms including cold sweat, nausea and feeling light-headed.
  • Take all medications exactly as prescribed
  • Follow up with physician regularly
    • Support client in getting to all medical appointments as scheduled
  • Eat right
    • Follow your physician’s advice
    • General dietary suggestions include:
      • Eat more fruits and vegetables
      • Choose foods high in fiber
      • Choose foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol
      • Eat fewer processed foods
      • Limit salt (sodium)
      • Limit sugar
  • Keep moving
    • Follow your physician’s advice for exercise
    • Consult your physician before starting any exercise plan
    • General activity suggestions include:
      • Aim for 2 ½ hours of moderate intensity exercise every week
      • Enjoy a short walk
      • Stand up and stretch several times a day
      • Do some seated exercises several times a day
    • Be careful not to overdo it
    • Stop and rest if you experience shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Support the client to quit smoking
    • Client may benefit from prescription medications to assist in quitting
  • Support the client to drink in moderation if he/she drinks alcohol
    • General recommendations:
      • Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day
      • Women should have no more than 1 drink per day

Compassionate Care’s Goals

Compassionate Care is implementing these diagnosis specific programs for several reasons:

  • Empower clients and their families to successfully manage care in the home setting
  • Educate our office staff to better understand each of these diagnoses and the care needs
  • Educate our caregivers to better understand each of these diagnoses and the care needs
  • Promote successful transition back into the community for clients leaving hospital/skilled nursing facility
  • Reduce the number of avoidable readmissions to the hospital for our clients

Download the Myocardial Infarction diagnosis program.


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