Show me:
Show me:
Heart attack recovery – your first month
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack.

Key takeaways

  • Having a heart attack can be a scary and overwhelming event.  
  • You need to know what has happened to you.  
  • There are steps you can take in the first month after your heart attack to start recovering. 
  • If you’re alone and think you’re having a heart attack, call triple zero (000) immediately.  
A heart attack can be a life-changing event. It’s common for many people to feel scared, confused and overwhelmed after a heart attack.  

After your treatment, you likely received instructions and a lot of information from your doctor. You may not remember a lot of what the doctors and nurses told you, especially during the first few days. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the staff. You can also talk to your family about what’s happening. 

Find out what to expect in the first few weeks after having a heart attack.   

What happened to you?

It’s important to know what has happened to your heart, in order to recover.  

A heart attack usually happens when an artery that supplies blood to an area of your heart is suddenly blocked.  

Ask your doctor or nurse exactly what happened and what treatment or procedure you have received.  

Your first steps to recovery 

 
Having a heart attack can be a scary and overwhelming event. It’s important to know what has happened to you and what you can do in the first month after to start recovery. 
 
  • Understand what has happened 
  • Understand potential future risk factors 
  • Join a cardiac rehab program 
  • Understand your medications 
  • ​Know the warning signs of a heart attack.    
Learn more about how cardiac rehab can help you get back to normal activities. 

You might also be interested in

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Dan was six minutes into his treadmill session when his heart stopped beating....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Alcohol action plan

Alcohol action plan

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Emma shares her story and opens up about her emotional struggles....

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Blood pressure action plan

Blood pressure action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your blood pressure....

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

The power of your ongoing support can help save lives and keep more families together. Help us continue to fund promising heart research projects by donating today. ...

Heart Week 2022

Heart Week 2022

Heart Week 2022

With one Australian having a heart attack or stroke every 4 minutes, you have the power to change this statistic. ...

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Guidelines, publications and support for the health professional community....

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

Coronary Angiogram Test

Coronary Angiogram Test

This is a common test done to find out angina symptoms, or during or after a heart attack. ...

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....

Chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti

Chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti

Chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti

15 minutes
Serves 2

Taking your heart medicines

Taking your heart medicines

Taking your heart medicines

Know what your heart medicines are for and how to take them. ...

Q&A with Dr Jessica Orchard

Q&A with Dr Jessica Orchard

Q&A with Dr Jessica Orchard

Cardiac screening of athletes: disparities and differences in electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation criteria in under-represented populations...

Seared salmon with lentil salad

Seared salmon with lentil salad

15 minutes
Serves 4

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Discover how to plan for your return to work....

Vegetarian lasagne

Vegetarian lasagne

Vegetarian lasagne

1 hour
Serves 6

Postdoctoral Fellowship

Postdoctoral Fellowship

This fellowship funding will allow a recent PhD graduates to boost their research career and enhance their ability to attract and secure future funding. ...

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Using a patient's genetic code to identify those likely to benefit from preventive statin therapy

Using a patient's genetic code to identify those likely to benefit from preventive statin therapy

Dr Adam Nelson, Institution: Monash University...

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

With immediate help a cardiac arrest can be survived. Learn how to save a life....

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Being a carer for a heart attack patient

Your role as a carer for a heart attack patient is an important one – explore some useful things to know....

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Mighty mango smoothie

Mighty mango smoothie

Mighty mango smoothie

10 minutes
Serves 1 - 450ml

Thai chicken lettuce cups

Thai chicken lettuce cups

Thai chicken lettuce cups

10 minutes
Serves 2

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests for heart disease

Blood tests can measure the levels of substances such as blood fat to show if, and how much of, your heart has been damaged....

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend different treatments, including procedures or devices. ...

GLOBAL CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH FUNDERS FORUM

GLOBAL CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH FUNDERS FORUM

GLOBAL CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH FUNDERS FORUM

FACILITATING INTERNATIONAL CLINICAL TRIALS ...

Chicken cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore

15 minutes
Serves 4

The Heart Failure Toolkit

The Heart Failure Toolkit

The Toolkit provides health services with a targeted approach to addressing readmission rates and decreasing variation in care....

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients