Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)
Acute death of heart tissue due to complete blockage of a coronary artery
What is a Heart Attack?
Unlike angina of the chest, a heart attack is being caused by a complete blockage of a coronary vessel and therefor complete loss of blood supply to a certain area of the heart. This occurs when an acute blood clot forms on top of a preexisting narrowing of the vessel.
The subsequent death of heart muscle cells is not reversible and can cause significant short term and long term consequences: initially, life threatening arrhythmias may occur causing the sudden cardiac death.
Depending on the size of the affected heart area, chronic heart failure may be the long term effect. Immediate hospitalization and reopening of the heart vessel are key in reducing chronic changes of the heart.
What are the symptoms of Heart attack?
Acute onset chest pain, excruciating pain and often the feeling of dying.
The pain may radiate into the left arm or the upper abdomen, throat or back between the shoulder blades.
Some patients experience also upper abdominal pain, acute onset nausea and vomiting.
Difficulty breathing, palpitations and cold sweats are very frequent accompanying symptoms.
It is quite usual to experience an acute heart attack in the early morning hours.
What imaging/ tests are done to diagnose a Heart attack?
The clinical symptoms are often typical enough to suspect an acute heart attack. The ECG will show specific changes. In the case of a small heart attack or the beginning of the heart attack we may however not see any ECG changes.
Blood analysis, especially the Troponin Test is very specific and sensitive in diagnosis a heart attack even in early stages when not seen on ECG.
What intervention/ treatment can be performed for a Heart attack?
Emergent Angioplasty: Balloon dilatation and stent insertion for immediate reopening of the blockage.
In case that angioplasty is not available for emergency intervention, thrombolysis therapy may be the next option, if not contra-indicated.
What intervention/ treatment does CardioCare offer for a Heart attack?
Coronary angiogram and Angioplasty: balloon dilatation and stent insertion.