You survived cardiac arrest.
What you’re going through can be overwhelming. You likely have many questions, and it takes time to put the pieces together through a process that goes beyond today. You’ll continue to learn as you are going through this. Heartsight is the place to start your journey with structured resources based on clinical research and the lived experiences of people like you. Heartsight is here to give you the information you need to understand some of the uncertainty during this overwhelming time.
What happened to me?
A cardiac arrest is a sudden event with long-term impact. The articles below will introduce you to what happened, who you may interact with in the hospital, and what your immediate recovery may look like. We encourage you to read them in the order provided.
5 Things To Know
1. Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition where an electrical problem causes the heart to suddenly stop pumping blood to the brain.
2. Both cardiac arrest and heart attack are medical emergencies, but they are not the same. A heart attack is a circulation problem.
3. After awakening from a coma post-cardiac arrest, it is normal to experience confusion and inability to focus for a few days.
4. Most survivors do not remember the event or their initial warning signs. Some may even struggle with retaining information about their hospital care.
5. Identify your primary clinical team among several other care team members, and write down questions you want to remember to ask.
Cardiac arrest is unique and represents the heart-brain connection
What to expect during hospitalization after cardiac arrest
Who might be involved in your care?
Catheters, machines, sounds, and teams… ICU 101
Can we save the brain from more injury?
Heartbeat is back but my loved one is still not waking up… When will they?
Confused, aggressive, and restless… Is this expected?
My heartbeat is back, but why are there injuries on my body?
I’m leaving the hospital, what happens now?
As you prepare for discharge you will have questions about what to expect, what will change, and how you can best prepare. The articles below will help empower you as you leave the hospital for the next phase of your recovery. We encourage you to read them in the order provided.
5 Things To Know
1. It is normal (and expected) to experience new physical, emotional, and cognitive issues after cardiac arrest.
2. You may feel overwhelmed or tired by daily life tasks. To-do lists can help ease this fatigue and anxiety.
3. If you feel overwhelmed, be gentle with yourself and consider talking to someone like a therapist or spiritual guide or joining a peer support group.
4. Rehab helps you resume everyday activities through training and therapy. Rehab type depends on your needs, medical condition, and insurance.
5. Defibrillator devices can involve confusing jargon and information. Your care team and the device manufacturer’s website can help.
How to set up follow-up care
What is rehabilitation? Is it for me? Do I qualify?
What is an ICD? Why do I need one?
What are wearable defibrillators?
You’ve survived cardiac arrest… Now what?
Why me? What if? What now?
What happens when I go home and beyond?
You are home and things may look different. You may be eager to get back to life but have questions about where to start. The articles will help you feel less alone as you figure out what life after cardiac arrest means for you. We encourage you to read them in the order provided.
5 Things To Know
1. Build healthy heart and brain routines with sleep hygiene, exercise, diet, medications, and medical appointments. Say no to illicit substances.
2. Many survivors fear another cardiac arrest and death and tend to hyperfocus on every small change in their body.
3. Know when to seek out a mental health professional. Many treatment options are available to help you make a personalized plan.
4. In-person and virtual support groups are available if or when you want to connect with other cardiac arrest survivors.
5. Healing is non-linear and does not happen overnight. Give yourself permission to take all the time you need to heal.
Knowing when and how to take action
Finding your new normal after hospital discharge
How can I be healthier after my cardiac arrest?
When to talk to a professional therapist?
How do I find a support group?
How do I make this journey a tad bit easier?