You Are At: AllSands Home > Potluck3 > Heart attacks:signs and symptoms
Did you know that heart attacks strikes 1.5 million people each year? A heart attack happens when the blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted and the muscle begins to
die.
A heart attack doesn’t have to mean that your life is over, but some changes will have to be
made.
The first thing we will look at are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Severe pain, sometimes prolonged.
Pain or numbness in the face, arms, neck, or back.
Shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, fainting.
Nausea and vomiting.
The feeling of tighness in the mid-chest area.
CAUSES
A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to your heart muscle is reduced or stopped all togheter. This usually occurs when there is a blood clot in one or more coronary arteries that supply blood to a certain muscle.
If the flow of blood isn’t restored quickly after heart attack symptoms begin, some of the heart muscle tissue may be permanently damaged and die. This is the reason anyone having symptoms of a heart attack needs to get to the hospital immediately. There are treatments that can be used to stop heart attacks or at least break up the clot or clots that are causing the heart attack.
RISK FACTORS
Some of the risk factors are inherited, such as being male or having family history of heart attacks. Others are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, being over weight, smoking, and poor diet.
TEST THAT HELP DIAGNOSE HEART ATTACKS
Electrocardigram or ECG or EKG- This test can help diagnois heart attacks as well as other heart conditions.
Chest X-rays allows the doctor to check the condition of your lungs and the size and shape of your heart and major blood vessels.
Lab test to check for increased of certain enzymes that are normally found in the heart muscle.
Stress tests to measure how the heart and blood vessels handle exertion, which can tell if your pain is related to heart disease.
Nuclear test to trace amounts of radioactive material that have been injected into the bloodstream, this will help to see if there are problems with blood flow.
Echocardiograms are tests that use wave sounds to make an image of the heart.
Angiogram or Coronary catheterization is where a liquid dye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a catheter. As the dye fills your arteries, the arteries become visible on X-ray and videotape. This test shows if the blood vessels are blocked in any way.
TREATMENT
If it is determined you are having a heart attack, there are clot-busting drugs that can help break up the clots.
You may have to have an angioplasty surgery. This is where a catheter with a balloon tip is inserted into the blocked artery and inflated to open up the artery and improve the flow of blood. At the same time a metal mesh may be inserted to keep the artery open.
There are a lot of medications that the doctor may perscribe to help prevent a second heart attack and he/she will decide which is the best for you.
Your doctor may also see that you go to a cardiac rehabilitation program to help identify and treat post-heart attack depression.
CHANGES TO LIFE STYLES
If you smoke stop.
Exercise, under the doctors or nurse supervision at first, then later on, on your own.
Diet plays an important factor also. Too much fat and cholesterol in your diet can clog your arteries, thus reducing the flow of blood and causing blood clots.
Heart attacks can be fatal if not treated immediately. So, if you are having symptoms of a heart attack, get to a hospital or call 911 immediately.