A heart attack occurs when there is 100% block in the coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply pure blood to the heart muscles. When coronary artery is totally blocked, the blood flow to that part of the heart stops. This blood helps maintain the health of the muscles. As the blood flow stops the heart muscles in that area start to die. Over a period of time, the muscles get completely damaged. These damages heart muscles cannot be recovered or replaced. The extent of the heart damage depends on the size of the artery. If it is a smaller branch of the artery which is blocked a person can get a minor heart attack. However, if one of the bigger arteries get blocked it will affect a larger area of the heart muscle. This larger area will stop contributing in the pumping heart. This will lead to irregular pumping of the heart leading to a heart failure. A patient with heart failure will show the following symptoms: Swelling in leg, fluid accumulation in the lung, liver enlargement, patient will not be able to walk and will have breathlessness.
Once a heart muscle is damaged, the damage is irreversible. Hence, it’s important to concentrate on prevention of heart attack.
What are the causes of Heart Attack?
6 physical risk factors:
- Blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- High Cholesterol in the blood.
Other risk factors
- Age – as one gets older the chances of heart attack increases.
- Sex of the patient – female before the menopause are protected by the heart attack due the progesterone but after menopause the chances of heart attack become higher.
- Hereditary – If there is a family history of heart disease have a higher chance of heart attack.
- Psychological risk factors which can contribute to heart disease.
- Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to heart attack
- Homocysteine level in the body can influence heart attack.
What type of people are at more risk of heart attack?
Type A personality people who have anxiety, aggressive, agitative, irritative time conscious are prone to more heart attacks thank Type B.
Symptoms of Heart Attack:
- Check paingenerally lasting more than 20 minutes.
- Check pain can be burning sensation, heaviness, cutting pain, squeezing pain, dull aching pain.
- Site of pain:
- Pain can be Retrosternal(behind the breastbone)
- Whole of the chest.
- Pain can go to the left arm, forearm.
- Pain can go to the right shoulder, right arm.
- Pain in neck or jaw or both shoulder.In rare cases in the epigastric area or upper abdomen.
4. Not all patient will have chest pain, primarily diabetic patients, but can show other symptoms like
- Unexplained weakness or sweating
The intensity of pain can vary from mild to sever pain. Generally, patients with severe pain consult a doctor. However, patients with mild pain generally look for home remedies than consult a doctor and waste precious time.
Treatment of heart attack& why it should be treated ASAP?
In Heart attack the most crucial aspect is the time factor. The longer it takes for a patient to get specialist the more the damage to the heart and its walls will take place. Herat attack is primarily due to 100% blockage of the artery. It has been seen that
- if the artery is opened within 1hours of the chest pain 90% of complications can be reduced and damage is negligible.
- If the artery is opened after2 hours of the chest pain80% of complications can be reduced and damage is negligible.
- If the artery is opened after 4 hours of the chest pain 20% of complications can be reduced and damage is negligible.
Hence, it is crucial that the artery should be opened within 1 hour of chest pain due to heart attack patient. Consequently, it is imperative that patient should be taken to a Hospital with a good ICCU set-up and extremely important that the hospital has a CAT LAB inorder to open the block ASAP.
There are two methods for opening the heart block:
Primary Angioplasty: The best option for a heart patient is primary coronary angioplasty. As soon as the patient comes to the hospital, patient is taken to the cathlab, angiography is done and where there is a block, the block is immediately removed, and stenting is performed. Hence, the success rate of opening and treating the blockage is 100%.
Pharmacology therapy: In this a thrombolytic agent in injection form is given by which the clot of the blockage is dissolved. These thrombolytic agents can be streptokinase which are cheaper agents. While there are better thrombolytic agents called tenecteplase, alteplase, reteplase which are rather expensive drugs. Nonthless, these agents show better results if given in 2-3 hrs of chest pain. Blockage of 75% of patients can be opened using these agents. However, in 25% of the cases where the heart block does not open a lot of time is lost and require angioplasty.