Wednesday, February 1, 2023

What Are Heart Attacks

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Women Have Heart Attacks Too

Demi Lovato – Heart Attack (Official Video)

Women and men usually experience the same heart attack symptoms. But research shows women tend to not recognise the symptoms as a sign of a heart attack as quickly.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, you should call 999 immediately.In the UK, an average of three women die of coronary heart disease every hour, many of them due to a heart attack.You dramatically reduce your chance of survival if you don’t call 999 straight away.

Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease .

CHD causes your coronary arteries to become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty deposits called atheroma.

If a piece of atheroma breaks off, a blood clot forms around this to try and repair the damage to the artery wall.

This clot can block your coronary artery either a partial blockage or total blockage . This causes your heart muscle to be starved of blood and oxygen.

Other less common causes of a heart attack include:

Preventing A Heart Attack

There are 5 main steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a heart attack :

  • smokers should quit smoking
  • lose weight if you’re overweight or obese
  • do regular exercise adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, unless advised otherwise by the doctor in charge of your care
  • eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including wholegrains and at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • moderate your alcohol consumption

Why Do Athletes Die Of Heart Attacks

Sudden cardiac arrest in athletes during and after athletic competition can occur. But its very uncommon.

Although exercise is incredibly beneficial for most people, there are athletes with preexisting cardiac conditions. If these athletes unknowingly push the boundaries of physical activity too far, it can be deadly.

A 2018 review determined that sports-related deaths are majorly due to coronary artery disease in adults and cardiomyopathy or arrhythmia in youths.

Other heart conditions, like myocarditis, can contribute to sudden cardiac death, too, but these do not occur suddenly. Generally, someone with myocarditis would likely feel sick and not participate in the sport.

Medical care is available at most athletic events in case anything happens. Bystanders trained in CPR are often invaluable as well, since they may be closest to a player who has collapsed on the field or court.

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Symptoms Of Cardiac Arrest

Sometimes a complication called ventricular arrhythmia can cause the heart to stop beating. This is known as sudden cardiac arrest.

Signs and symptoms suggesting a person has gone into cardiac arrest include:

  • they appear not to be breathing
  • they’re not moving
  • they don’t respond to any stimulation, such as being touched or spoken to

Angina Vs Heart Attack

Heart Attack Photograph by Alfred Pasieka

Chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle is called angina. Its a common symptom of heart disease. There are two main types of angina:

  • stable angina, the most common type of angina and one that is predictable often occurring with physical exertion or stress
  • unstable angina, which is unpredictable and should be treated as a medical emergency

An angina attack can feel like a heart attack, and in many cases especially with unstable angina it can be hard to tell angina from an actual heart attack.

If you have stable angina thats brought on with exertion and eases with rest, you may assume a sudden but brief bout of chest pain is only an angina attack. If chest pain doesnt subside with rest or comes and goes for a period of 10 minutes or more, you may be having a heart attack.

Talking with your doctor about how to manage your angina will help you better understand the difference between angina and heart attack symptoms, and help prepare you if your chest pain is actually a symptom of a heart attack.

The leading cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease. This is where plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The general buildup of plaque in the arteries is also known as atherosclerosis.

There are two main types of heart attack.

In type II heart attacks the heart does not receive as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, but there is not a complete blockage of an artery.

Other causes of heart attacks include:

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Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest
  • pain in other parts of the body it can feel as if the pain is spreading from your chest to your arms , jaw, neck, back and tummy
  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • an overwhelming feeling of anxiety
  • coughing or wheezing

The chest pain is often severe, but some people may only experience minor pain, similar to indigestion.

While the most common symptom in both men and women is chest pain, women are more likely to have other symptoms such as shortness of breath, feeling or being sick and back or jaw pain.

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.

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Heart Disease Deaths Vary By Sex Race And Ethnicity

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, including African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, and white men. For women from the Pacific Islands and Asian American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic women, heart disease is second only to cancer.1

Below are the percentages of all deaths caused by heart disease in 2020, listed by ethnicity, race, and sex.1

Percentages of all deaths caused by heart disease in 2015 by ethnicity, race, and sex.

Race of Ethnic Group

When Do I Do If Someone Else Has A Heart Attack

heart attack. #shorts

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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What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Heart attacks can have a number of symptoms, some of which are more common than others. The symptoms you have are also influenced by your sex, as with men and women being more likely to have different heart attack symptoms.

Common heart attack symptoms

Symptoms most often described by people having a heart attack:

  • Chest pain . This symptom can be mild and feel like discomfort or heaviness, or it can be severe and feel like crushing pain. It may start in your chest and spread to other areas like your left arm , shoulder, neck, jaw, back or down toward your waist.
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
  • Nausea or stomach discomfort. Heart attacks can often be mistaken for indigestion.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy or passing out.

Heart attack symptoms in women

Medical research in recent years has shown that women may have the above symptoms, but also have a higher chance of experiencing symptoms different from those listed above.Women are less likely to describe the following:

  • Chest pain, especially in the center of the chest.
  • Discomfort that feels like indigestion.

Women are more likely to describe the following:

  • Shortness of breath, fatigue and insomnia that started before the heart attack.
  • Pain in the back, shoulders, neck, arms or abdomen.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Primary percutaneous coronary intervention is the term for emergency treatment of an STEMI. It’s a procedure to widen the coronary artery .

Coronary angiography is done first, to assess your suitability for PCI.

You may also be given blood-thinning medicines to prevent further clots from forming, such as low-dose aspirin.

You may need to continue taking medicines for some time after PCI.

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How Is A Heart Attack Treated

Quick treatment to get the blood flowing to your heart muscle again is important. This can reduce the amount of permanent damage to your heart and save your life.

Many people need to have emergency treatment to restore the blood flow:

  • Coronary angioplasty re-opens the blocked coronary artery by inserting one or more stents. This helps keep the narrowed artery open.
  • Thrombolysis involves giving you clot-busting medicine to dissolve the blood clot that’s blocking the coronary artery.
  • Coronary bypass surgery helps to restore normal blood flow by using a blood vessel from your leg, arm or chest in your heart to bypass the blocked artery.

You might not have these treatments if your doctor decides it’s not safe or necessary.

Tips For Heart Attack Prevention

Heart Attack Warnings, Therapy, and Assistance

The goal after your heart attack is to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of having another heart attack. Take your medications as directed, make healthy lifestyle changes, see your doctor for regular heart checkups, and consider a cardiac rehabilitation program.

Why do I need to take drugs after a heart attack?

You might take certain drugs after a heart attack to:

You might take medications that treat an uneven heartbeat, lower your blood pressure, control chest pain, and treat heart failure.

Know the names of your medications, what theyâre used for, and when you need to take them. Go over your medications with your doctor or nurse. Keep a list of all your medications, and take it to each of your doctor visits. If you have questions about them, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t skip your medications. Many people don’t take their medications the way their doctor told them to. Figure out what keeps you from taking your medicine — it could be side effects, cost, or forgetfulness — and ask your doctor for help.

What lifestyle changes are needed after a heart attack?

To keep heart disease from getting worse and to head off another heart attack, follow your doctor’s advice. You might need to change your lifestyle. Here are some changes you can make that can cut your risk and put you on the path to a healthier life:

Why should I take part in cardiac rehabilitation?

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Learn First Aid For Someone Who May Be Having A Heart Attack

1. The person may have persistent, vice-like chest pain, which may spread to their arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.

This pain happens because a blockage stops blood getting to the heart muscle. The pain will not ease with rest.

2. Call 999 as soon as possible.

If you cant call 999, get someone else to do it. The person needs medical help as soon as possible. A heart attack can be very serious and needs immediate attention.

3. Help the person to sit down.

Ensure they are comfortable for example, sitting on the floor and leaning against a chair or a wall. Sitting will ease the strain on the heart. Sitting them on the floor also means they are less likely to hurt themselves if they collapse.

4. Reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.

Is My Heart Permanently Damaged

When a heart attack occurs, the heart muscle that has lost blood supply begins to suffer injury. The amount of damage to the heart muscle depends on the size of the area supplied by the blocked artery and the time between injury and treatment.

Heart muscle damaged by a heart attack heals by forming scar tissue. It usually takes several weeks for your heart muscle to heal. The length of time depends on the extent of your injury and your own rate of healing.

The heart is a very tough organ. Even though a part of it may have been severely injured, the rest of the heart keeps working. But, because of the damage, your heart may be weakened, and unable to pump as much blood as usual.

With proper treatment and lifestyle changes after a heart attack, further damage can be limited or prevented.

Learn more about heart damage detection.

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Facts About Heart Attacks

  • Most people survive heart attacks and make a good recovery.
  • Your heart is one of the toughest muscles in your body it’s already healing itself.
  • Your heart hasnt worn out a heart attack is usually caused by a blockage in one small section of an artery.
  • Stress, shocks or surprises do not cause a heart attack.
  • It is normal to feel tired, weak and emotional after a heart attack this will pass.
  • Many of the causes of heart attacks are under your control it is never too late to reduce your risk of another heart attack.

What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose This Condition

Heart Disease Problem Treatment | World Heart Day

Anyone with heart attack symptoms should undergo a physical examination, including checking pulse, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and listening to heart and lung sounds.

Other tests used to diagnose heart attack include:

  • Electrocardiogram : This is one of the first tests done when someone comes to an ER with heart attack symptoms. This test uses sensors called electrodes that attach to the skin of your chest. The electrodes pick up electrical activity in the heart and show it as a wave on a display or printout. By looking at the wave, providers can see the strength and timing of the electrical signal as it travels through your heart. When the signal doesnt travel like it should, the shape of the wave changes, which can indicate a heart attack or similar problems. EKG for a heart attack is usually continuous to monitor for changes in heart activity.

STEMI and non-STEMI heart attacks

The wave of your heart’s electrical signal is divided into sections using letters of the alphabet starting at P and ending at U. One particular section of the wave, the ST segment, shows activity in the heart’s lower two chambers. Those chambers are the left ventricle and right ventricle.

  • Blood tests. During a heart attack, the damage to heart muscle cells almost always causes a chemical marker to appear in your bloodstream. Blood tests that look for that marker are among the most reliable methods to diagnose a heart attack.

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Are There Other Causes Of Heart Attack Besides Blockage

Sometimes a coronary artery temporarily contracts or goes into spasm. When this happens the artery narrows, and blood flow to part of the heart muscle decreases or stops.

The causes of spasms are unclear. A spasm can occur in normal-appearing blood vessels as well as in vessels partly blocked by atherosclerosis. A severe spasm can cause a heart attack.

Another rare cause of heart attack is spontaneous coronary artery dissection, which is a spontaneous tearing of the coronary artery wall.

What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.

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