Heart Attack Recovery

What You Should Know About Heart Attacks and Kaweah Delta

Treating your body well pays off, especially when it comes to avoiding life-threatening situations like a heart attack. For instance, eating well, not smoking, and watching your cholesterol all are important factors in heart health. Kaweah Delta wants you to know that you can help your heart. That said, heart attacks do happen.

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when a blood clot forms and blocks the blood flow to the heart. Most people think of a heart attack as an intense, deadly and obvious moment of cardiac arrest where the sufferer grabs their chest and cries out. Although some can be sudden and intense, the vast majority of heart attacks start more slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Some of the signs include:
•    Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
•    Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your back, neck, jaw or stomach.
•    Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
•    Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs, dial 9-1-1 right away. Our emergency room teams are on hand 24 hours a day to save lives in the event of a heart attack.

Life After a Heart Attack

Heart attacks can be deadly, but here’s the good news — people who have had one or even more than one heart attack can go on to live long and healthy lives. Depending on your specific situation, and the heart attack you suffered, life may change or be about the same after your heart attack. You may only be in the hospital for a few days, but your recovery is just beginning. You'll need to eat heart-healthy meals, be more physically active, maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke.

At Kaweah Delta, we encourage our patients to talk to the doctors we partner with to determine if not only lifestyle changes are needed, but possibly medications. You can also discuss whether you should join Kaweah Delta's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which happens to be the only one outside of Fresno.

In Visalia, Kaweah Delta’s dedicated heart team partners with cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to provide heart attack care for patients from Visalia, Hanford, Tulare, Porterville, Fresno, Bakersfield and surrounding areas.