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

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

A nurse shares her top recovery tips for young cardiac patients

Pauline is a nurse and shares advice for young people who have had a heart event or are recovering from surgery....

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...

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....

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

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....

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....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

A series of virtual events for young adults on managing emotional wellbeing. ...

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Like men, women can be diagnosed with a range of heart conditions....

Chest x-ray for heart disease

Chest x-ray for heart disease

This test can help your doctor determine if there is anything wrong with your heart....

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

The Tick Program has made a substantial contribution to the health of Australians over the past 26 years....

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Do you have a Heart Story to share?

Sharing your story could help another Australian just like you to overcome their heart challenges...

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

A family history of heart disease could mean you are at greater risk....

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Getting active at school

Physical activity resources for school staff....

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack. ...

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Healthy Bowl Recipes

Healthy Bowl Recipes

Healthy Bowl Recipes

Find more heart healthy bowl recipes in our Bowl Foods recipe booklet...

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

Find a cardiac rehabilitation service near you

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Register your cardiac service with the Heart Foundation

Register your cardiac service with the Heart Foundation

This cardiac services directory presents information on cardiac rehab programs offered across Australia....

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Resources to help you create a more physically active workplace....

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

WEBINAR | CVD & COVID-19

Ask the experts: caring for people with CVD during COVID-19...

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....

Endorsement of externally developed clinical resources

Endorsement of externally developed clinical resources

Nutrition Resources for Practice and Patient Care

Nutrition Resources for Practice and Patient Care

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

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....

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....