Myocardial Infarction

  1. Definition of "myocardial infarction."



  1. Factors that may increase risk of myocardial infarction.



  1. Signs and symptoms of a myocardial infarction.


    1. Difficulty breathing.

    2. Palpitations.

    3. Nausea or vomiting.

    4. Weakness.

    5. Perspiration.

    6. Anxiety.

    7. Chest pain:

    1. Can vary from mild discomfort to very severe, crushing pain.

    2. May radiate to neck, arms, shoulder, or jaw.

    3. Unrelieved by rest or nitroglycerin.


  1. What to do if a myocardial infarction occurs.



  1. Measures to prevent a recurrence of myocardial infarction.


  1. Achieve and maintain ideal weight to decreased workload of the heart. (Provide "Weight Reduction" handout.)

  2. Eat diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. (Provide "Decrease Cholesterol" and "Restrict Sodium" handouts.)

  3. Exercise regularly.

    1. Begin with a cardiac rehabilitation program under the guidance of a health professional.

    2. Stop exercise immediately if any pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness is noted.

    3. Progress exercise gradually.

    4. Do not exercise 1-2 hours after eating.

  4. Monitor and control blood pressure.

  5. Learn stress management techniques. (Provide "Relaxation Techniques" handout.)

  6.  Avoid tobacco and alcohol, which are stimulants.

  7. Avoid constipation to decrease strain on the heart.

  8. Take medications as ordered, and have regular medical checkups.


  1. Possible complications of myocardial infarction.