Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Live chat with nurse Judy

Karen asks: “My husband had a heart attack at the end of January, he had a stent fitted, he was off work 3 weeks. He is now back to playing football twice weekly and golf, I say he is doing too much and should be taking it easy, wasn’t this a sign telling him to slow down. How likely is he to have another heart attack, he is 55.”

Judy says:

Your concern is understandable and is very commonly experienced by partners/spouses of someone who has had a heart attack. When I first started nursing it was common practice to keep patients in bed for ages following a heart attack. Now thanks to research we know that regular exercise is good for the heart, and that it’s an important part of the rehabilitation programme for those who have had a heart attack.

Lots of people ask us to quantify the risk of having a second heart attack. It’s impossible to do this but what I can tell you is that a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, can help to reduce the risk of another heart attack. It’s also important that your husband takes the medication he has been prescribed.

Another benefit of regular exercise is that it’s great for mental health and well being and can help boost the confidence of the person who has had the heart attack. So whilst I can fully understand your concerns it would be best to encourage your husband to keep active. Obviously if he were to experience symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath on exertion he should stop and rest and report it to his GP. But if he has no symptoms on exercise he should continue to enjoy it and all the benefits it brings.

No comments: