Heart Attack

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By Dr. Paras Hospitals, Multi Speciality

A heart attack occurs when the stream of oxygen-rich blood to an area of heart muscle suddenly experiences a blockage and the heart is not supplied with enough oxygen. In case, the blood stream is not re-established rapidly, the area of heart muscle begins to deteriorate and may ultimately die. The treatment of a heart attack works best immediately after the symptoms appear.

The most common cause of heart attacks is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), also known as Coronary Artery Disease. CHD is a condition in which plaque (waxy substance) accumulates inside the coronary arteries. These arteries are responsible for the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Accumulation of plaque in these arteries causes Atherosclerosis. After a long period of time, a portion of the plaque erupts within the artery which forms a blood clot. If the size of the blood clot is adequately large, it causes total blockage in the artery which in turn causes a heart attack.

Severe spasm or tightening of a coronary artery is a less common cause of a heart attack. The spasm stops the passage of blood through the artery. Heart attacks are also associated with heart conditions like heart failure and fatal arrhythmias.

Immediate action at the first symptom or suspicion of a heart attack is essential to save life. Some main symptoms are:
1. Upper body discomfort
2. Chest Pain or Discomfort
3. Shortness of breath

Other symptoms include:
1. Unusual Tiredness
2. Sudden dizziness
3. Nausea
4. Any change in the pattern of previous symptoms (getting stronger)

The main purpose of treatment is the restoration of oxygen-supply to the heart. The medications include:
1. Aspirin
2. Antiplatelet agents
3. Thrombolytics
4. Blood-thinning medicines
5. Nitroglycerin
6. Painkillers
7. ACE inhibitors.

Surgical Procedures for Treating Heart Attack include:
1. Coronary angioplasty and stenting
2. Coronary artery bypass surgery

Heart attacks can impair a person’s normal life. The fundamental symptoms should therefore be fought against.