How Life Changes for the Survivors of Myocardial Infarction

Published: 2021-09-24 02:40:10
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Category: Illness

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Myocardial infarction is one the leading causes of death in United States today. 1.5 million heart attacks occur in America each year. Of those attacks, 500,000 victims die. About 80% of those who have an MI will live. Many, however, will suffer from another one. Preventative measures must be incorporated into the lives of heart attack survivors so that potential recurrence is limited. These preventative measures include eating habits and an exercise regimen that was probably absent in the persons life before the MI.
Survivors of MIs receive many instructions and prescriptions from their doctors and nurses about sticking to a new set of behaviors, such as not smoking and putting down that Twinkie. Many patients, however, find it quite difficult changing in all the ways that were prescribed. Many stop complying at all once they start to feel better.Cardiac RehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation for patients who are post MI is made up of three different elements: education, counseling and exercise therapy. Focusing on cardiac rehabilitation, it is much the same throughout the United States. A patients physical status is evaluated by performing an n exercise-stress-test. An exercise program is then created. To make sure patients are experiencing safe yet effective results, they exercise up to about 60% of their maximum heart rate. These exercise regimens occur about three times a week lasting between one half to a full hour. These exercise sessions include a warm up exercise, working exercise, and a cool down. These sessions occur about 6 weeks after the myocardial infarction. These sessions last about three months, although it is suggested to a patient to continue with the exercise program.Of all those things prescribed to an MI survivor, physical activity performed on a regular basis is considered quite valuable. Some physiological benefits include the adaptive changes that take place to meet the increased oxygen demands of aerobic exercise and a significant reduction in resting heart rate and exercise heart rate. Other studies have shown a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures in those who have included exercise in their regimen. Exercise therapy has also shown to increase stroke volume and cardiac output. This means that the ejection fraction has been increased. In individuals who exercise, their maximum oxygen consumption increases. This allows the person to exercise at a higher workload while using less oxygen. All of these finding support the idea that exercise improves cardiovascular efficiency.
Psychological Effects
There are also psychological benefits as well. Those patients that actively participated in the prescribed exercise program felt better about themselves and had an increased level of self esteem. Exercising in a group fosters social well being. They do not feel as if they are the only ones who have ever had a heart attack. Exercise put them in a good mood. It has been found that those who survived a heart attack feel depressed and have increased anxiety. Exercise has lifted some of those patients out of depression and anxiety has all but disappeared. Stress is reduced and the patients are better able to handle their situation, thus improving the quality of life.
Nurses Role
The role of the nurse during a patients rehabilitation includes educating the patients about risk factors and lifestyle changes, giving support emotionally to the patient and his family, evaluating patients tolerance to exercise program, encouraging the patient to continue the program and reduce their fears. It may be difficult to influence the patients belief toward exercise, especially after an infarct. The nurse is in a critical position to show the patient through education and role modeling the need and importance of such changes. The nurses attitude determines the patients attitude.

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