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How Heart Attacks Are Treated

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Treatment And Medication Options For A Heart Attack

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Once you arrive at a hospital after experiencing heart attack symptoms, doctors will confirm a heart attack through a combination of heart monitoring, blood tests, and imaging tests.

You may be started right away on an intravenous clot-busting drug, which will help dissolve the blood clot that caused your heart attack.

You may also undergo a procedure to open up your blocked artery and keep it open, known as coronary angioplasty and stenting.

In certain cases, you may require bypass surgery, in which doctors use blood vessels from other areas of your body to restore blood flow around blocked arteries to your heart.

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Are There Complications Of A Heart Attack

Complications following a heart attack can include:

  • Arrhythmia your heart may develop an irregular heartbeat following a heart attack due to damaged heart muscles disrupting electrical signals.
  • Heart failure your heart may have ongoing difficulty pumping enough blood, due to its muscles being too weak or stiff.
  • Cardiogenic shock where your whole body goes into shock from extensive heart muscle damage.
  • Heart rupture this is a rare but serious complication in which the hearts muscles, walls or valves split apart.

These can be dangerous if untreated, but your healthcare team will help to manage them if they occur.

What Happens After A Mild Heart Attack

After experiencing a mild heart attack, other symptoms may make themselves known and affect your physical and mental state. You might feel fatigued, as the episode will have weakened your heart muscle and made it more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the rest of the body. You may also experience some discomfort in your chest, as damage to the heart impairs blood flow and can result in chest pain.

Depression is another side effect of experiencing a mild heart attack, as after such a traumatic event, you may feel a fear of death or mortality as well as a loss of control over your life. Finally, heart arrhythmias may develop after a mild heart attack, as part of the muscle that conducts the impulse to beat may be damaged and cause the heart to beat irregularly.

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What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack

Take our quiz to see how much you know about cardiac rehabilitation.

If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .

You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:

  • Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
  • Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
  • Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
  • Physical activity
  • Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
  • Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health

How Can I Prevent A Heart Attack

Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes &  Treatment

All women can make changes to help prevent a heart attack. These changes include making healthier food choices, being more physically active, and not smoking. Once you know your heart attack risk factors, you and your doctor can work together to lower your risk.

Even if you had a heart attack before, you can make changes to help prevent another heart attack. Learn more steps to prevent heart attack and heart disease.

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Common Heart Attack Treatments

Youll find many common heart attack treatments listed here. For more detailed explanations of these treatments, see our page devoted to cardiac procedures.

  • Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries.
  • Angioplasty, Laser: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery.
  • Artificial heart valve surgery: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.
  • Atherectomy: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.
  • Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle.
  • Cardiomyoplasty: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patients back or abdomen.
  • Heart transplant: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donated healthy human heart.
  • Minimally invasive heart surgery: An alternative to standard bypass surgery.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.
  • Stent procedure: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
  • Transmyocardial revascularization : A laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the hearts pumping chamber.

What Should I Do If I Have A Heart Attack While Im Alone

Call 9-1-1 immediatelydo not attempt to drive yourself to the emergency room. While you wait for help:

  • If youve been prescribed nitroglycerin, take it as directed.
  • Whether you have nitroglycerin or not, take 325 milligrams of aspirin. It will work faster if you chew the tablet rather than swallow it whole.
  • Make sure your door is unlocked so the emergency team and friend or family member can get in.
  • Wrap up in a blanket to stay warm.
  • Sit comfortably propped up and try to stay calm.

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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.

Heart With Muscle Damage And A Blocked Artery

Myocardial Infarction and Coronary Angioplasty Treatment, Animation.

A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm of a coronary artery. The spasm cuts off blood flow through the artery. Spasms can occur in coronary arteries that arent affected by atherosclerosis.

Heart attacks can be associated with or lead to severe health problems, such as heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias.

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cant pump enough blood to meet the bodys needs. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats. Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening arrhythmia that can cause death if not treated right away.

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How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed

The ambulance team will do an electrocardiogram to detect whether you’re having a heart attack. If the ECG shows youre having a heart attack, youre likely to have emergency treatment as soon as you arrive in hospital. If the ECG doesnt confirm a heart attack you might need further tests to investigate if you are having a heart attack, including:

  • an assessment of your symptoms and medical history
  • physical examinations, including measuring your blood pressure and monitoring your heart rhythm and heart rate
  • blood tests including a troponin test to detect if theres been any damage to your heart muscle
  • an echocardiogram.

You might hear a heart attack being called acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction or coronary thrombosis while you’re at hospital.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Is there a test I can take to see if my arteries or blocked so I know if Im at risk of a having a heart attack?
  • What is the likely cause of my heart attack?
  • How serious was my heart attack?
  • What course of treatment do you recommend? Do I need medicine? Surgery?
  • Do I need to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program?
  • When can I return to normal physical and sexual activity?
  • What is my risk of having another heart attack?
  • Are my family members at an increased risk of heart attack?
  • Do I need to take medicine to prevent another heart attack?
  • Will the medicine interact with any of the medicine I already take?
  • What lifestyle changes should I make at home to prevent another heart attack?
  • Can sexual activity cause a heart attack?

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Cats With Heart Disease Need Frequent Vet Visits

Most cats with heart disease appear to be fine, but they are suffering from serious problems. If these conditions are not treated, life expectancy may be reduced. Cats with congestive heart failure do not have a cure, but they do have some options for prolonging their lives. Regular veterinary visits are required to monitor the progression of heart disease and to check for any signs of worsening heart condition. The most common cause of heart problems in cats is breathing difficulty. When you breathe quickly, vigorously, or openly, you should be concerned. If your cat is having difficulty breathing, they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Cats living with heart disease may experience more problems in addition to their health issues. When a clot forms in a limb, for example, it can cause weakness or paralysis, which is extremely painful. If fluid accumulates in the chest cavity, your cat will experience breathing difficulties and anxiety. If you notice any signs of heart disease in your cat, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. In cats, there is no cure for congestive heart failure, but there are treatments that can prolong their lives.

Sudden Heart Disease In Cats

Prevention of Heart Failure.

Cats are prone to sudden heart disease as a result of a number of factors. Its excessive. Meats and treats high in fat and oil are examples of high-fat foods. Obesity has become a major issue in the United States. Fluent infections include heartworm, feline leukemia virus, and calicivirus. Left ventricular hypertrophy and mitral regurgitation are two of the defects. The patient has a heart condition called heart failure. If you notice any changes in your cats behavior, such as lethargy or panting, or if your cat becomes disinterested in food or rapidly loses weight, you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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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 to recover from the damage the heart attack did to your heart.

Assessing The Risk Factors For A Heart Attack

  • Understand that there are different types of risk factors for heart condition. There are factors youll change by making changes to your lifestyle choices, and there are some that you simply cannot. Once you are aware that the alternatives that you make increases or decreases your risk of heart condition and of an attack , you create better choices.
  • Understand the risk factors for developing a heart condition that you simply cannot change these are factors that cant be changed and will be considered when assessing your overall risk of an attack . Risk factors you cant change include:
  • Age: Men over 45 and women over 55 have a better risk of heart attack.
  • Family history: If your close blood relatives have had an early attack, youll be at a better risk.
  • History of autoimmune disease: If youve got a history of an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or Lupus, youre at higher risk of getting an attack .
  • Pre-eclampsia: this is often a condition in pregnancy
  • Lower your risk of attack by striving to remain active a day choose a brisk walk for a quarter-hour after lunch and dinner. Eat a healthy diet low in salt, trans-fats and carbohydrates, high in healthy unsaturated fats and proteins.
  • Its important to follow your doctors recommendations for treatment and drugs if youre at risk of a heart attack, or if youre recovering from one.

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Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

and Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

What the Procedure Does

An alternative to standard bypass surgery . Small incisions are made in the chest. Chest arteries or veins from your leg are attached to the heart to “bypass” the clogged coronary artery or arteries. The instruments are passed through the ports to perform the bypasses. The surgeon views these operations on video monitors rather than directly. In PACAB, the heart is stopped and blood is pumped through an oxygenator or “heart-lung” machine. MIDCAB is used to avoid the heart-lung machine. It’s done while the heart is still beating. Requires several days in the hospital.

Reason for the Procedure

  • Manages blockage of blood flow to the heart and improves the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.
  • Reduces risk of heart attack.
  • Improves ability for physical activity.

When Do I Do If Someone Else Has A Heart Attack

Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack, MI) Nursing Management Interventions, Medications NCLEX Part 2

An easy-to-use device called an AED is available in many public places and can be used by almost anyone to treat cardiac arrest. This device works by shocking the heart back into a normal rhythm.

Hereâs how to use an AED:

1. Check responsiveness

  • For an adult or older child, shout and shake the person to confirm whether theyâre unconscious. Do not use AED on a conscious person.
  • For an infant or young child, pinch their skin. Never shake a young child.
  • Check breathing and pulse. If absent or uneven, prepare to use the AED as soon as possible.

2. Prepare to use AED

  • Make sure the person is in a dry area and away from puddles or water.
  • Check for body piercings or outline of an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator.
  • AED pads must be placed at least 1 inch away from piercings or implanted devices.

3. Use AED

For newborns, infants, and children up to age 8, use a pediatric AED, if possible. If not, use an adult AED.

  • Turn on the AED.
  • Plug in connector, if necessary.
  • Make sure no one is touching the person.
  • Push the âAnalyzeâ button.
  • If a shock is advised, check again to make sure no one is touching the person.
  • Push the âShockâ button.
  • Start or resume continue compressions.
  • Follow AED prompts.

4. Continue CPR

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Medicine To Break Down Blood Clots

Medicines used to break down blood clots are called thrombolytics or fibrinolytics. They are usually given by injection.

Thrombolytics, or fibrinolytics, target and destroy a substance called fibrin. Fibrin is a tough protein that makes up blood clots. It acts like a sort of fibre mesh that hardens around the blood.

Examples of these types of medications include:

You may also be given an extra medication called a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor. You will get this if you have an increased risk of experiencing another heart attack.

Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors do not break up blood clots. But they prevent blood clots from getting bigger. They’re an effective method of stopping your symptoms getting worse.

Heart Procedures And Surgeries

If you’ve had a heart attack, you may have already had certain procedures to help you survive your heart attack and diagnose your condition. For example, many heart attack patients have undergone thrombolysis, a procedure that involves injecting a clot-dissolving agent to restore blood flow in a coronary artery. This procedure is administered within a few hours of a heart attack. If this treatment isn’t done immediately after a heart attack, many patients will need to undergo coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery later to improve blood supply to the heart muscle.

See diagnostic tests and procedures to better understand the tests you may have to undergo to find out if you had a heart attack, how much damage was done and what degree of coronary artery disease you have.

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How To Prevent Heart Disease In Cats

The best way to prevent heart disease in cats is to have them checked by a veterinarian regularly and to catch any problems early. Heart disease can be caused by a number of things, including genetics, so it is important to be as proactive as possible in preventing it.

Cats, on the other hand, appear to be disease-free and discomfort-free. If you dont know what to look for, the possibility of developing feline heart disease can sneak up on you. Genetics play a large role in heart disease. Only a few kittens are born with congenital heart disorders, which affect only 1% to 2% of them. Persians, Ragdolls, Maine coons, and American shorthairs are among the breeds that show signs of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. If you have an incomplete meal plan , you are more likely to develop the condition. If you want your cat to avoid heart disease, you should consult with your veterinarian about ensuring that he or she is fed a well-balanced diet.

Saddle thrombus is a painful and crippling condition in cats that is caused by heart disease. The most common way to tell if you have a heart murmur is to use a stethoscope. Blood tests and a thorough physical exam at least once a year are extremely effective at identifying other diseases in your pet.

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