Heart attacks have become a common health problem among people all over the world. Though both, men and women are prone to it, statistics show that men are at a greater risk of experiencing a heart attack. Even though it is a serious ailment, people can be cured completely by proper and timely treatment. Read this HealthHearty article to know about the treatment related to this health condition.
The human heart is one of the most vital organs in the body. The heart muscles receive blood from coronary arteries or blood vessels, which in turn, supply blood to the rest of the body. Sometimes, blood flow is blocked to a certain part of the heart due to narrowing of the coronary arteries or due to the formation of clots on it. When this happens, the oxygen supply to the heart reduces and the person develops a severe pain in the middle of the chest, commonly known as a heart attack. Its medical name is myocardial infarction and it has the ability to take away a person’s life, if treatment is not administered on time.
An attack can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Middle aged men and diabetic people are at a very high risk of getting this attack. Poor eating habits, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol levels are some of the factors that are responsible for the onset of myocardial infarction. There have also been cases, where people have a sudden cardiac arrest when confronted with a stressful situation.
The main symptom of this suddenly occurring health problem is acute chest pain. Along with this, the person may also experience some other signs of discomfort, which include:
- Fainting/becoming unconscious
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme sweating
- High heartbeat rate
- Nausea or vomiting
When a person gets an attack, he or she has to be taken to the hospital immediately, as any delay can be severely detrimental to the life of the patient. Once the patient reaches the hospital, the doctor conducts physical as well as laboratory tests to know the condition of the heart and the reasons for the attack. Some of the tests are CT scan, MRI, coronary Angiography, E.C.G, etc.
People who reach the hospital with this heart condition are most likely to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and oxygen would be administered as the first step of the treatment. Usually, patients are given aspirin to prevent blood clots in the arteries from growing bigger. Another type of treatment is thrombolytic therapy in which, thrombolytics or blood thinners are passed into the blood through IV to remove the clots formed in the blood vessels, thus restoring the flow of blood into the heart. Some people are also given painkillers like morphine to relieve the chest pain. Beta blockers can also be administered to the patient to bring back the increased heart rate.
Sometimes, even administering medications and drugs does not help in stabilizing the condition of the patient. In such cases, the specialist may have to opt for a heart surgery as a part of the treatment. There are two types of surgical procedures that are adopted to treat people suffering from heart attacks.
Angioplasty is done to open up the narrow arteries and restore normal blood flow to the heart. A thin tube (catheter), with balloon attached to it, is introduced into the artery, mostly through the groin area. When this tube reaches the blocked artery, the balloon attached to the catheter is amplified. This helps in broadening the blocked area of the blood vessel, leading to proper blood flow. Sometimes, a stent may be placed in the artery during angioplasty to prevent it from narrowing again.
The other type of surgery used as a treatment measure is, the coronary artery bypass surgery, also known as open heart surgery. This is usually done after the patient is out of danger. Bypass surgery is a complex operation, often taking 4-6 hours for completion, and is done on people who are suffering from multiple blockages in the blood vessels. During the operation, the surgeon takes veins from other parts of the body, especially from the legs or the chest and transplants them on the blocked arteries.
Administering medications and performing surgeries relieves the person from the pain. However, it does not mean that the person would never get a heart attack again. There have been many cases of people getting an attack even after the bypass surgery, reasons being poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. It is therefore, very important to take proper care of one’s health even after recovery. Eating a healthy diet and exercising is extremely essential for the treatment to prove effective.