Thursday, April 18, 2024

How Does Heart Attack Happen

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Treatment Of Heart Attack

What happens during a heart attack? – Krishna Sudhir

With each passing minute after a heart attack, more heart tissue loses oxygen and deteriorates or dies. Once the heart attack is diagnosed, treatment begins immediately, possibly in the ambulance or emergency room. Treatment options include:

Medications: The goals of medication therapy are to break up or even prevent blood clots, prevent platelets from gathering and sticking to plaque, stabilize the plaque, and prevent further lack of oxygen to the heart muscle. These medications must be given as soon as possible to decrease the amount of damage to the heart muscle.

Medication options may include the following:

  • Aspirin will treat pain, inflammation, and reduce risk of a heart attack.
  • Thrombolytic therapy is the administration of drugs called lytics or clot busters that will help break up or dissolve blood clots.
  • Anticoagulants blood-thinners will help treat, prevent and reduce blood clotting.
  • Other antiplatelet drugs such as brilinta and prasugrel.
  • Statins will help reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood.
  • Any combination of the above

Medical and surgical procedures

Chest Pain Or Discomfort

Chest pain is a common symptom of a heart attack.

During this stage of a heart attack, people may experience the following sensations in their chest:

  • pain
  • aching
  • heaviness

Some people also say that they experience a sense of tightness that can feel as though they are being squeezed.

Sometimes, these sensations can appear suddenly and intensely. This happens when the blockage occurs suddenly. If the blockage is slowly progressing over time, then the symptoms appear gradually. In these cases, people may mistake the sensations for heartburn or indigestion.

Anyone who experiences symptoms that occur with exertion and resolve with rest, even if they occur gradually, should always discuss them with a doctor, especially if they progress over time.

However, people should not wait to seek medical care for their chest pain. They should seek medical treatment immediately, particularly if other signs of a heart attack occur as well.

Reduces High Blood Pressure

Exercise is the perfect alternative to medicines in controlling high blood pressure. Hypertension or high blood pressure increases with age. It becomes important to indulge in some form of physical activity to control it.

Not only exercising but regular exercising is the key to reducing high BP. If you have moderate blood pressure, exercise can keep it that way. But you have high blood pressure, physical fitness can lower it for heart attack prevention.

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Living With A Heart Attack

After youve had a heart attack, you are at higher risk of having another one. Your doctor will likely recommend heart-healthy lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk. They include:

  • Maintaining a heart-healthy diet
  • Being physically active
  • Quitting smoking

Symptoms during a second heart attack may be different than the first one. If you have any new symptoms of heart attack or are in any doubt, call 911. Early treatment is the key to surviving a heart attack.

Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Vs Men

What happens during a heart attack? in 2021

Women are more likely than men to have silent heart attacks and heart attacks without chest pain. Heart attacks are also more likely to start when a woman is at rest or experiencing mental stress.

That means its especially important for women to watch out for symptoms like shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, nausea or vomiting, or pain in the jaw, arms or back.

Also, we now know that young women are particularly prone to a type of heart event called a spontaneous coronary artery dissection , which we talk about in more depth below.

Read Also: When Is Resting Heart Rate Too High

Managing Heart Attack Risk Factors

Here are ways to manage your risks for a heart attack:

  • Look at which risk factors apply to you, then take steps to eliminate or reduce them.
  • Learn about high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These may be “silent killers.”
  • Change risk factors that aren’t inherited by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out how to do so.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider to find out if you have risk factors that can’t be changed. These can be managed with medicine and lifestyle changes.

What Procedures Treat A Heart Attack

The most common procedures to treat a heart attack include:

  • Angioplasty and stenting. Angioplasty, also called percutaneous coronary intervention, is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. A thin, flexible tube with a medical balloon on the end is threaded through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to open the artery to allow blood flow to the heart. The balloon is then deflated and removed. A small mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the artery. The stent helps prevent new blockages in the artery.
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting. The surgeon uses a healthy blood vessel from another part of your body to re-route blood around the blockage in your artery. You may need this surgery if more than one artery is blocked, or if angioplasty and stenting did not work to restore blood flow to the heart.

After a heart attack, you may also need cardiac rehabilitation to recover from the damage the heart attack did to your heart.

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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women

If you have any of these signs, call 911 and get to a hospital right away.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, womens most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
  • Did We Answer Your Question About Heart Attack

    How Does A Heart Attack Happen

    For more information about heart attack, call the OWH Helpline at 1-800-994-9662 or check out the following resources from other organizations:

    • Heart Attack â Information from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    • Heart Attack â Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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    What Are The Early Signs Of A Heart Attack

    There are heart attack symptoms in women that are different from heart attack symptoms in men. But the common signs and symptoms they usually share are as follows:

    • Chest pain or discomfort: The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain at the center of the chest.
    • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This may include pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach or in one or both arms.
    • Shortness of breath: This may occur with, before or without chest pain or discomfort.
    • Breaking out in a cold sweat
    • Nausea or light-headedness

    Meanwhile, heart attack symptoms in women sometimes go unnoticed. These include the following:

    • Back pain
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Treating or managing conditions that can be a risk factors of heart attack such as diabetes

    In The Ambulance And Emergency Room

    Treatment for a heart attack or unstable angina begins with medicines in the ambulance and emergency room. This treatment is similar for both. The goal is to prevent permanent heart muscle damage or prevent a heart attack by restoring blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible.

    You may receive:

    • Morphine for pain relief.
    • Oxygen therapy to increase oxygen in your blood.
    • Nitroglycerin to open up the arteries to the heart to help blood to flow to the heart.
    • Beta-blockers to lower the heart rate, blood pressure, and the workload of the heart.

    You also will receive medicines to stop blood clots so blood can flow to the heart. Some medicines will break up blood clots to increase blood flow. You might be given:

    • Aspirin, which you chew as soon as possible after calling 911.
    • Antiplatelet medicine.

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    Recovering After A Heart Attack

    It is natural to feel worried, scared, frustrated or isolated as you begin your recovery at home. If you can, try to have someone with you at home for the first few days or weeks, depending on how you feel. Or, arrange to stay with friends or family for a few days.

    When you first get home, try to take things easy and get plenty of rest. Avoid any activities that make you feel out of breath. Its ok to have a few visitors or take a walk round your house or garden, but avoid playing sports or doing housework such as hoovering.

    About 10 days after a heart attack, most people will be ready to start doing some gentle physical activity. The key is to start slowly and gradually build up the amount you can do. How quickly you are able to do this will depend on the condition of your heart and on how active you were before your heart attack.

    Just like the physical aspects of recovery, recovering from the emotional impact of a heart attack can take time. There may be lots of thoughts and questions going through your mind, and you may wonder what the future is going to be like.

    It is normal to feel anxious and stressed, and you may also feel frustrated, vulnerable or scared. If you have previously been fit and healthy, you may find it particularly difficult to be dependent on other people. It is also common to feel afraid that it might happen again.

    Try not to bottle up how you are feeling. Ask for help or advice if you need to.

    What To Do When Youre Having A Heart Attack

    Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest and Heart Failure..They are all different
    • Chew one adult-strength aspirin to help keep your blood from clotting.
    • Stay on the phone with the emergency operator as you wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself to the hospital.

    If youre not sure its a heart attack, dont ignore your symptoms. Call for help anyway. If you are having a heart attack, the sooner you get to the hospital, the sooner your care team can work to restore blood flow and reduce further heart damage.

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    Do Women Fare Better Or Worse Than Men After A Heart Attack

    Younger women under age 45 have a better outcome than men of a similar age. Scientists believe this is because of estrogen’s heart-protective effects. However, after menopause ends the protective benefits of estrogen, women fare worse than men. More specifically:

    • Women between the ages of 45 and 65 who’ve had a heart attack are more likely to die within a year of the event compared with men of this same age.
    • Women over age 65 are more likely to die within weeks of their heart attack than men over age 65.

    What Is A Heart Attack

    A myocardial infarction is an extremely dangerous condition caused by a lack of blood flow to your heart muscle. The lack of blood flow can occur because of many different factors but is usually related to a blockage in one or more of your hearts arteries. Without blood flow, the affected heart muscle will begin to die. If blood flow isnt restored quickly, a heart attack can cause permanent heart damage and death.

    A heart attack is a life-threatening emergency. If you suspect you or someone you’re with is having a heart attack, do not hesitate to call 911 . Time is critical in treating a heart attack, and a delay of even a few minutes can result in permanent heart damage or death.

    How common are heart attacks?

    New heart attacks happen to about 635,000 people in the U.S. each year. About 300,000 people a year have a second heart attack. About one in seven deaths in the U.S. is due to coronary heart disease, which includes heart attacks.

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    Why Should I Call 911 If I Can Drive Myself To The Hospital

    If you have any symptoms of a heart attack, its best to call 911 for multiple reasons:

    • First responders can do some of the early testing and treatment for a heart attack on the way to the hospital. This can speed up the overall diagnosis and treatment process.
    • If you come into the hospital by ambulance, you usually have more immediate access to care. When youre having a heart attack, every second matters.
    • Heart attacks can cause your heart to beat irregularly or stop entirely, either of which could cause you to pass out. If youre in an ambulance when that happens, first responders can react immediately to stabilize you. You also wont have to worry about passing out behind the wheel and causing a crash that could have devastating consequences for yourself or others.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    A blocked artery needs immediate care to prevent permanent heart damage. You may think that if your symptoms are not intense and severe, youre not having a heart attack. However, its best to get your symptoms checked. Calling 911, rather than driving yourself or having someone else drive you, can be even more life-saving than you think. Time saved is heart muscle saved, and that means you have a better chance of a good outcome.

    What Is Coronary Artery Disease

    How Does a Heart Attack Happen? (animation) | myocardial infarction

    Most heart attacks are caused by coronary artery disease . This is when a gradual build-up of fatty streaks form in the coronary arteries. These are the arteries that deliver oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. The build-up of fatty streaks makes the coronary arteries narrow and stiffen over time.

    As the coronary arteries narrow, it becomes more difficult for oxygenated blood to reach the heart muscle, sometimes causing pain and discomfort known as angina.

    If a piece of plaque cracks, it may cause a blood clot to form and block a coronary artery, cutting off the blood supply to a part of the heart muscle. This causes a heart attack.

    The heart attack symptoms you feel during a heart attack are caused by your heart muscle being starved of oxygen. This prevents your heart from beating as normal.

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    Catriona Found A Listening Ear

    Mum of two Catriona had a heart attack just as lockdown was beginning, and she felt anxious and on edge because the usual support wasnt available.

    I was given booklets about diet and exercise when I was discharged home and I was told someone would be in touch, but I didnt know when. I did feel quite isolated and I wasnt confident about what to do next, so thats why I phoned Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

    Catriona began talking to Wendy from our Advice Line and got the invaluable practical and emotional support she really needed.

    I feel like I can ask Wendy anything even if its a daft question. And I know I could call her at any time if I feel worried. It is so reassuring to know she is there for me.

    Early Signs Of A Heart Attack

    Are your vague symptoms just fatigue or something serious? Learn the early warning signs that could signal a heart attack.


    Sutter Medical Foundation

    Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

    Many of us have experienced that moment. Perhaps were driving in traffic or working out at the gym when we feel a twinge in our chest, or an aggressive pulse. Or maybe we just dont feel right. We might pause at these moments and wonder if its time to hightail it the doctor or if this is normal.

    The reality is people can notice subtle heart attack symptoms months before an actual event occurs, says Sutter Zi-Jian Xu, M.D., a cardiologist in the Sutter Health network.

    Dr. Xu frequently discusses heart attack symptoms and prevention with his patients. Heres what you need to know.

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    Recovering From A Heart Attack

    You’ll usually stay in hospital for about two to five days after having a heart attack. This depends on what treatment you’ve had and how well you’re recovering.

    Many people make a full recovery after a heart attack, but you might not be able to do everything you used to. Going to cardiac rehabilitation can help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.

    A heart attack can be a frightening experience and it can take time to come to terms with what’s happened. Its natural to be worried about your recovery, feel scared, frustrated and isolated.

    For support and advice, visit our emotional support page.Practical matters like driving, going back to work or finances might be a worry after a heart attack. You can get support and advice on these topics and more on our practical support page.

    A Myocardial Infarction Commonly Known As A Heart Attack Occurs When The Blood Supply To The Heart Is Interrupted

    A Month Before A Heart Attack, Your Body Will Warn You With These 9 ...

    Cardiac arrest vs heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest may be caused by almost any known heart condition. What can we help you find? A myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to the heart is interrupted. In order to prevent heart attacks, know the symptoms of heart attack early. Historically, this condition was thought to primarily occur in men, but recent studies suggest that folks of all genders, i. Cardiac arrest may be caused by almost any known heart condition. View an article to learn the difference. Plus, he shares information about the difference between a h. A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly.

    A myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to the heart is interrupted. Heart attacks happen when there is a loss of blood flow to the heart, usually caused by a blockage or build up. Cardiac arrest and heart attacks are both serious heart failures, but they are actually two different things. But knowing the differences between the two may save your life. Heart attacks and cardiac arrest are both serious heart ailments.

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