Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or heart attacks can occur anywhere and at any time. For the lucky survivors, it is absolutely imperative that urgent steps are taken to improve their health and chances of long-time survival.

Things like finding support, setting healthy living goals and even to buy AED technology can help improve a survivor’s chances of long-term survival post-SCA or heart attack.

Let’s take a look at these important steps below:

Find support

You may feel very anxious after experiencing SCA or heart attack – this is a normal emotion. But you are not alone. In fact, 30,000 Australians experience SCA every year, with a number of them surviving like yourself.

Your care team can help provide resources for finding support post-SCA or heart attack. What’s more, if possible, it’s important to have loved-ones or someone you trust provide care and support in the period after returning home post-SCA.

If this is impossible, your care team will again be able to provide resources for ongoing care and support.

Work towards a healthy lifestyle

To optimise your chances of a full recovery is imperative to work towards creating a healthy lifestyle.

The following can help you work towards a healthy lifestyle post-SCA:

  • Keep animal proteins to a minimum but eat fiber-rich foods like fruit and vegetables;
  • Make a commitment to lose weight if this has been a past issue;
  • Immediately quit smoking  and develop a fitness routine with a physician;
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods that have plenty of fiber, minerals and vitamins;
  • Avoid calorie-rich foods and eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, legumes, fish, poultry and nuts. Limit your intake of red meats and sugar-rich sweets/soft drinks;
  • Seek out a cardiac rehabilitation program;
  • Follow the advice of your cardiac rehabilitation team, especially that of joining a cardiac rehabilitation program, as these can be pivotal to ensuring you have a successful recovery and a much greater chance of long-term recovery;
  • Know that people recover at their own pace and it may take you some time before you start to feel like yourself or a much healthier version of yourself.
  • Through joining a cardiac rehabilitation program, you are committing to making a proper recovery and living a happy, full existence after your SCA. What’s more, you will be meeting with survivors who share similar experiences with you.
  • Take your time and don’t over-exert yourself. You have gone through a very stressful, life-altering event – the last thing you should do is rush to get back into your regular routine when you need to be focusing on your health.
  • Eventually, and with the help of a physician, you can start thinking about engaging in regular exercise again. This could be anything from walking to jogging, swimming and playing sports. But be sure to properly monitor yourself as you work out and keep tabs on how you feel. If you begin to feel sick, nauseous or dizzy whilst getting back into your exercise routine, it may be a good idea to consult your doctor.