Cardiologist Questions Cardiac Arrest

My father suffered cardiac arrest. What should be follow up treatment?

My father suffered cardiac arrest but thank goodness the ER team was able to resuscitate him very quickly. He is 70 years old. What kinds of lifestyle changes should he make to keep as healthy as possible after this has occurred?

5 Answers

He should first get checked out for why he had cardiac arrest. He should go for walks 1 mile at least 3 times a week and have regular check up with his doctor for BP, EKG and have cardiac evaluation.
It depends on whether the cardiac arrest was caused by a myocardial infarct or not. If it was, then the standard heart attack treatment and follow-up rehabilitation should be sufficient. If not, he should have tests to find out why it occurred, and in the mean time he should probaby have an implantable defibrillator fitted in case it happens again. Either way he can stay reasonably active but avoid extreme exertions or stresses.
He has to be worked up by medical professionals, definitely by a heart specialist (cardiologist), to see what could have been an underlying cause of the arrest and how it can be prevented in the future.
A big question. Your father’s doctor can identify the specific risk factors and tailor a plan to modify them. Take a look on line about risk factors for CAD and see if any apply: that’s a good way to begin.
Without knowing the details of your father’s case and cause for the cardiac arrest I can only give you general recommendations that would apply to everyone if they want to reduce the risk of another event. If the cause was a heart attack, life style changes should include regular aerobic exercise and a proper diet. Aspirin, statins and beta blockers are generally prescribed if tolerated. Additional risk factors, if present (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity) should be well controlled and aggressively monitored. And, of course, tobacco must be avoided.