Heart Attack Treatment

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Heart Attack Treatment

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death in America and account for millions of deaths worldwide as well. The common heart attack occurs when blood flowing to a section of the heart is stopped long enough for that section of the heart to die or become damaged. There are numerous causes of heart attacks. Moreover, there are numerous heart attack treatments available and we shall look at the common types in this article.

Medically, a heart attack is called a myocardial infarction. A number of heart attacks are caused by blood clots which block the coronary arteries. These are the arteries that provide blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. Due to the blockage, the heart suffers from starvation of oxygen and is unable to function properly. Hence, the heart cells die and one suffers from a heart attack.

Another common cause of heart attacks is the buildup of plaque along the arterial walls. Plaque buildup occurs as a result of a high cholesterol level within one’s blood. As such, the narrowing of the arterial walls due to plaque buildup may also lead to oxygen starvation of the heart cells which may lead to one suffering from a heart attack.

Heart attack treatment will normally occur in the emergency room. Common procedures that will occur during heart attack treatment include monitoring of one’s heartbeat via a heart monitor to which you will be hooked up to, delivery of oxygen to prevent any further strain on one’s heart as well as the administration of nitroglycerin and morphine to help reduce the chest pain.

The heart monitor is crucial in the heart attack treatment process as it will detect any arrhythmias i.e. abnormal heartbeats. Arrhythmias are known to be the leading cause of death in individuals suffering from heart attacks, especially during the first hours of the first attack. Treatment for arrhythmias is through medication and/or cardio version.

A number of emergency treatments are normally used in situations when dealing with heart attacks. The angioplasty is one such emergency heart attack treatment. This procedure uses a small mesh tube made of metal, medically referred to as a stent, to open up any narrowed or blocked blood vessels. The angioplastsy procedure is the first choice treatment and is done within 90 minutes of one reaching the hospital.

Another common heart attack treatment is through thrombolytic therapy. This refers to the administration of drugs to break up the clot. This is done within three hours of one feeling chest pain or tightness in the chest region

Post heart attack treatment would normally include the administration of drugs such as anti-platelet drugs to reduce the chances of blood clot formation, beta-blockers as well as ACE inhibitor medications which help protect the heart.