The rate of heart attacks has increased alarmingly over the years. Heart attack, medically termed as Myocardial Infraction occurs as a result of damage caused in heart muscles, due to a lack in the supply of oxygen. This might occur due to the presence of a clot or obstruction in the artery, coronary spasms and so on.
Our heart requires a steady supply of oxygenated blood for life functions, which are supplied by the coronary arteries. In cases where these arteries narrow, the blood supply dwindles causing deposition of plaques which eventually form blood clots. These plaques are usually fat deposits caused due to our eating habits and other lifestyles.
If the clots grow bigger, they completely block the supply of blood, effectively starving the heart muscles off oxygen. This leads to damage or death of the muscles. The death of heart muscle tissues culminates in heart attack. As each of the coronary arteries supply blood to different regions of the heart, the intensity and effect of heart attack depends on the size of clot and the artery affected.
The healing process after a heart attack takes about 8 weeks. The damage caused to the muscles heals to form scar tissues. These tissues do not contract and hence people experience lesser pumping after the occurrence of an attack.
Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Heaviness, pressure or discomfort felt in chest, below breast bone and arms
- Feeling full in stomach, indigestion or heartburn, combined with the other symptoms
- Pain radiating towards back, throat, neck and jaws
- Irregular, rapid hear beat
- Shortness of breath, anxiety and extreme fatigue
- Sweating, dizziness and nausea
Medical attention should be obtained within an hour or two after the symptoms are felt, for effective treatment.
Heart Attack Treatment
Heart attack treatment mainly involves administering medications of anti-platelets and anti-coagulants to prevent the formation and growth of clots in artery, clot dissolving medicines to open up the arteries and methods to improve oxygen flow to heart muscles.
Cardiac surgery is done in cases where rapid opening of arteries is a necessity to improve the condition of the patient. Interventional methods like angioplasty are also performed to remove clots from the arteries.
Dr. Kuldeep Chulliparambil is a leading cardiac surgeon based in Kochi with an experience over carrying out more than ten thousand heart surgeries.
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