Myocardial Infarction – An Overview
when a baby is growing in the mother’s womb, Heart is the very first organ that starts working. From there the heartbeats continuously till your last breath. When the heart stops, life ends! There is no compromise in that. The hype over heart problems is common and none of them is false.
Of course, your heart is really strong and highly tolerant. But if it is facing any issues, it will become the weakest part of your body. So you should be more vigilant when it comes to your heart problems, you should be able to notice the symptoms, understand the consequences to eliminate harmful factors potentially and should know the treatment options immediately.
Out of many heart problems, Myocardial infarction, often known as Heart Attack is one major heart problem which you need to know about. This blog just gives you all the information you need to know about that!
What is a myocardial infarction?
A myocardial infarction which is also known as a heart attack. It occurs when blood flow is reduced or stopped to the heart muscle. It causes permanent damage to the cardiac muscles of the heart. when the flow of blood is abruptly cut off to the heart, the tissue loses oxygen without blood and finally dies. Usually, this happens due to the blockage in one or more coronary arteries. Also, there are various other factors which might cause the blockage of blood flow to the cardiac muscles.
What happens during a myocardial infarction?
Coronary Arteries, a network of blood vessels surrounds the heart muscle and supply oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood to the muscles. Heart muscles require this supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood continuously to function. Sometimes certain substances like cholesterol, blood clots etc. deposit on the artery walls and blocks the blood flow gradually or suddenly.
The blockage deprives a portion of the heart muscle and If the blood flow is not restored within 20-30 minutes the tissues damaged permanently. If this condition is left untreated, it will eventually damage your entire heart. This implies death!
What are the symptoms of a myocardial infarction?
Chest pain and Shortness of breath are the classic symptoms of a heart attack. The symptoms can be varied and are too strong for anyone to overlook. The symptoms of myocardial infarction will show up abruptly unlike the symptoms of other heart problems which develops over a period of time. The common symptoms of myocardial infarction are:
- Pain(Angina), a tight feeling, squeezing or aching sensation in your chest and spread to the arms, abdomen, lower jaw or neck.
- Congestion in the chest.
- Trouble in breathing
- Fullness, indigestion, or heartburn (“choking feeling”)
- Cold sweat or Sweating
- A headache, light-headedness, extreme weakness or anxiety
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Irregular heartbeats
What are the causes and risk factors of a myocardial infarction?
When coronary artery filled up with cholesterol (atherosclerosis) and various other substances it becomes narrow, blocks overtime and stops blood flow which leads to a heart attack. The condition is known as coronary artery disease(CAD) the reason for most heart attacks.
The blockage might complete or partial. If the blockage is complete then you’ve had an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). If the blockage is partial then you’ve had a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and the treatment also varies. Another cause of a heart attack is a spasm of a coronary artery. Taking illicit drugs like cocaine and tobacco leads to life-threatening spasm. Other risk factors include:
- Advancing age
- High BP
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Family history of a heart attack
- Genetic predisposition
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Lack of physical activity
- Heavy and strenuous exercise
Men are more prone to getting Myocardial infarction.
What is the treatment for myocardial infarction?
Heart attacks require instant medical attention, so most treatments will start in the emergency room. As soon as possible, the person will be given some pain medications, oxygen to breathe etc. and other medications which include:
- Blood thinners like aspirin which are used to split the blood clots and helps to improve blood flow through narrowed arteries.
- Thrombolytics, the drugs often called clot busters used to dissolve clots.
- Antiplatelet drugs like clopidogrel which prevents forming new clots and stops the existing clots to grow larger.
- Nitroglycerin widens the blood vessels and improves blood flow, also relieves chest pain
- Beta-blockers relaxes your heart muscle and lowers your blood pressure. They limit the severity of damage to the heart and prevent further heart attacks.
- ACE inhibitors lower blood pressure and minimise the stress on the heart.
- Statins drugs help to control blood cholesterol.
- Pain relievers such as morphine used to reduce the discomfort you may feel.
Coronary Angioplasty And Stenting: A minimally invasive procedure used to unblock the arteries which supply blood to the heart. During the procedure, the surgeon will insert the catheter – a long, thin tube through the arteries find in groin, leg or wrist to reach the blockage. Once the catheter reaches the blockage, he will widen the small balloon attached to the catheter to reopen the artery and resume the blood flow. Sometimes the doctor may place a small, mesh-like tube called a stent near the blockage to prevent the artery from closing again in future. The procedure is done after Cardiac catheterization – a procedure used to find blockages.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG): CABG procedure involves rerouting the veins and arteries so that blood can flow around the blockage. CABG is open-heart surgery and hence it is optional. Doctors consider various health factors like diabetes, emphysema, kidney diseases etc. to determine a patient is fit to go for this procedure. Although, minimally invasive techniques, resolves most of the complications.
At Sunshine Hospitals, the staff at our emergency ward is very efficient in dealing with life-threatening cases emergencies like myocardial infarction. No matter what time of the day you check-in, you will always find an expert cardiologist to help you out during the time of need.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.