Cardiac Rehabilitation

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1 Cardiac Rehabilitation Questions and Answers Information for Patients Cardiac Rehabilitation Dept Phone: Macclesfield District General Hospital Ref: Review: 11/2016 Ref: Review: 11/2016 Page 1

2 Contacts Cardiac Rehabilitation Service Macclesfield District General Hospital Victoria Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK10 3BL Tel: If you are put through to our answer machine please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. However, if you are requiring medical assistance and are put through to our answer machine, please telephone your GP or dial 999. Your cardiac rehab nurse is Macclesfield & District Cardiac Support Group Tel: / / Active Hearts Wilmslow Tel: / or British Heart Foundation Tel: What if I get chest pains? Use GTN as advised If no improvement within 15 minutes - DIAL 999 This leaflet has straightforward answers to the most frequently asked questions following a heart attack. You will be contacted at home by a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team within approximately 7 working days of your discharge. They will answer any questions you may have and explain about the cardiac rehabilitation programme. Ref: Review: 11/2016 Page 2

3 Diet What type of food should I be eating? You should be following a healthy eating plan - this means low fat, low salt, low sugar and high fibre. You will have the opportunity to see a dietitian to discuss any special dietary needs or concerns Alcohol How much alcohol can I safely drink? 14 units for women and 21 units for men, per week, but aim to have 2-3 alcohol free days and don t binge drink. As a guide, 1 glass (175ml) wine = 2 units, 1 pint (568ml) beer = 2 units and 1 standard pub measure of spirits = 1 unit Smoking How can I get help to quit? Ask your cardiac rehab nurse Speak to your GP or practice nurse Call Smoking Cessation Service or Quitline Freephone Driving When can I drive and who do I need to inform about my heart attack? You can drive 4 weeks after your heart attack, but you must inform your insurance company. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has a list of sympathetic insurance companies. You don t need to contact the DVLA. If you are an HGV or PSV driver, speak to your cardiac rehab nurse Physical Activity What should I consider when exercising? The key thing is to build up exercise gradually. Walking is recommended as an ideal form of exercise to regain fitness after a heart attack and to maintain a good level of fitness in the future. Gradually progress by: increasing the distance of your walks increasing the speed of your walks - aim for a brisk walk incorporating gradients in your walk (after the first few weeks) Avoid doing activities after a large meal and when it is very cold or very hot - all these put added strains on the heart. If you get Ref: Review: 11/2016 Page 3

4 symptoms such as chest pain or breathlessness, it is important to stop and rest. Feeling slightly breathless on returning from a walk is normal - remember, you are exercising your heart and lungs - but you should not feel exhausted Am I OK to use the stairs? In the early days back at home only make necessary trips and take your time What about the day to day activities? The key here is to build the amount of activity up gradually and avoid heavy lifting and straining - particularly in the early weeks after a heart attack When can I resume a sexual relationship? There is no fixed time when it is OK - when you and your partner are ready is the best rule Work When should I go back to work? This depends on your occupation, but after 6-12 weeks. Ideally, return to work part-time and build up gradually. Sedentary occupations can return to work after approximately 6 weeks Physically demanding occupations can return to work after approximately 12 weeks Medication What do all these tablets do? It is most likely that following a heart attack you will be prescribed some medication. These are some of the most common types of medication and what their benefits are to you Aspirin/Clopidogrel/Ticagrelor - make the blood less sticky helping to prevent clots forming - so reducing the chance of a further heart attack Beta Blockers (Atenolol, Bisoprolol) - slow down the heart rate and reduce the work of the heart muscle * ACE Inhibitors (Perindopril, Ramipril, Enalapril) - widen the blood vessels so lowering the blood pressure * Lipid Lowering drugs (Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Pravastatin) - reduce blood cholesterol Ref: Review: 11/2016 Page 4

5 GTN - relieves angina by opening up the arteries so reducing the workload of the heart * Please see your GP these medications may need to be increased Holidays Do I have to cancel my planned holiday? There is no reason why you should not enjoy a holiday after your heart attack. If you have had an uncomplicated recovery you may be able to fly as a passenger 10 days after a heart attack. It is sensible to check with the airline and your travel insurance before you fly. Any concerns speak with your GP or cardiac rehab nurse. Appointments Who do I need to see and when? Arrange to see your GP 1-2 weeks after discharge for a repeat prescription. You will receive an outpatient appointment to see the cardiologist. If additional tests are required, you will receive appointments to attend as an outpatient If you have any queries about any of these subjects, please ask your cardiac rehab nurse Cardiac Rehab Phase 3 Programme This is a programme running at local leisure centres or, if more appropriate, in your own home. It aims to promote your recovery and restore you to as full a life as possible. Each session will cover exercise, which is explained and demonstrated safely and is structured to suit your individual needs. There is also an education element to the programme, covering; stress management and relaxation, cardiac medication, healthy eating and information on lifestyle changes and treatments in heart disease Ref: Review: 11/2016 Page 5

6 Comments, compliments or complaints We welcome any suggestions you have about the quality of our care and our services. Contact us: Freephone: Phone: Textphone: Customer Care, Reception, Macclesfield District General Hospital, Victoria Road, SK10 3BL For large print, audio, Braille version or translation, contact Communications and Engagement on Admission information The trust accepts no responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, personal property of any kind, in whatever way the loss or damage may occur, unless deposited for safe custody. Please leave valuables at home. If you need to bring personal items that are expensive, for example micro hearing aids, please be aware that you do so at your own risk. East Cheshire NHS Trust does not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, bullying or abuse and is committed to ensuring that patients, staff and the public are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Ref: Review: 11/2016 Page 6

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