A heart attack, also known as a Myocardial Infarction, occurs when the blood flow to the heart is interrupted. The heart's primary function is to deliver oxygenated blood to all parts of the body so that they can function properly. When the heart receives oxygen-rich blood via blood vessels known as coronary arteries, it functions normally.
Heart Attack signs and symptoms: Chest pain, which is described as heavy or crushing, is a common symptom of a heart attack. The pain in the chest may spread to the arms, neck, jaw, or back. Heartburn, nausea, indigestion or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, sweating, fatigue, light-headedness, and sudden dizziness are some other symptoms. However, the symptoms mentioned may differ from person to person. Some people have mild chest pain, while others have severe pain. Some people have no chest pain at all. Sometimes a heart attack occurs suddenly, but there are warning signs and symptoms that appear hours, days, or weeks in advance.
Heart Attack causes: - A build-up of cholesterol plaque or fatty deposits in artery walls obstructs blood flow, resulting in a heart attack. When Plaque ruptures, spills cholesterol and other substances into the bloodstream, causing clots at the site of rupture and blocking the artery completely. A coronary artery blockage permanently damages a portion of the heart muscle.
Other factors that contribute to a heart attack include a spasm of an artery, which prevents blood from flowing to the heart muscle. Tobacco, smoking, and drugs like cocaine can all cause severe spasms.
Risk Factors of Heart Attack:
Heart Attack diagnosis:
The diagnosis of a heart attack is based on three major findings: chest pain characteristics, an ECG, and a blood test. If two of the three findings are present, the diagnosis of a heart attack is confirmed. The ECG is the most helpful test because it detects characteristic changes within minutes of a heart attack.
Blood tests, which detect proteins released into the bloodstream when a portion of the heart muscle dies, are eventually used to confirm a heart attack. However, these proteins (cardiac enzymes) are only detectable four to six hours after a heart attack, which may be too late to implement treatment if heart attack treatment is based solely on this.
Treatment of Heart Attack: The goal of heart attack treatment is early detection and opening up the blocked artery as quickly and effectively as possible to minimise the extent of damage to the heart muscle. There are currently two treatment options available to unblock the artery. Coronary angioplasty is the first and the most effective way to open up the artery by inserting a balloon or stent through a small puncture in the groin or wrist. It is effective in more than 90% of the cases. The disadvantage of this treatment is that it must be performed in a procedure suite by experienced operators. The second option after angioplasty to treat a heart attack is to administer a strong blood-thinning medication (thrombolytic agents) to dissolve the clot and thus unblock the artery. Any qualified physician can provide this immediately after a heart attack is diagnosed. However, it is only slightly more than 50% effective in opening the blocked artery and may result in serious bleeding complications from other areas, including the brain.
When to seek medical help?
Consult a cardiologist immediately if you experience chest heaviness, choking, chest pain that radiates to left hand, or right hand, or jaws, or to navel, unexplained sweating, dizziness, fainting, vomiting, or extreme exhaustion. Furthermore, there may be other symptoms of a heart attack, such as a rapid heart rate with dizziness or a feeling of dizziness; in such case too you should see a doctor right away.
If you are concerned with your cardiovascular health, or in case you are considering heart surgery in Delhi or beyond, please feel free to reach out to us any time and we’ll help you as best we can. We offer round the clock emergency heart services and we are considered one of the best heart hospitals in Delhi. We provide for transport in case you are facing difficulties getting to us.