Heart Attack and Unstable Angina (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
If your condition gets worse, you may want to think about palliative care. This is care for people who have illnesses that do not go away and often get worse over time. It is different than care to cure your illness. Palliative care focuses on improving your quality of life—not just in your body, but also in your mind and spirit. Some people combine palliative care with curative care.
For more information, see the topic Palliative Care.
Treatment for a heart attack is increasingly successful at prolonging life and reducing complications and hospitalization. But a heart attack can lead to problems that get worse over time, such as heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
It can be hard to have talks with your doctor and family about the end of your life. But making these decisions now may bring you and your family peace of mind. Your family won't have to wonder what you want. And you can spend your time focusing on your relationships.
You will need to decide if you want life-support measures if your health gets very bad. An advance directive is a legal document that tells doctors how to care for you at the end of your life. You also can say where you want to have care. And you can name someone who can make sure your wishes are followed.
For more information, see the topics:
Your doctor may talk to you about your desire to be revived (resuscitated) if your heart stops pumping and you are unable to breathe on your own. For more information, see:
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