Things to know about Heart Attack : By Dr. Anil Acharya
What is Heart attack?
Heart attack is a condition occurring blood vessel supplying the heart becomes blocked and the muscle distal is deprived of the blood supply.
What will happen during heart attack?
The functionality of the portion of heart muscle deprived of the blood supply will be lost. It can also lead the heart to beat irregularly and thus be ineffective to pump the blood to the body.This will result in the patient having severe chest pain or heaviness (mainly on the left chest and can travel to jaw or arm), the person also have shortness of breath or may become unconscious in severe cases.
On milder cases when the blood supply is decreased but not completely blocked, the person develops chest heaviness on exertion (walking uphill climbing stairs, walking after food).
Who are at risk?
The risk factors for heart attack are:
· Sedentary life style ( Physical inactivity)
· High Cholesterol
· Male sex, Increasing age
· Family history
How can the risks of heart attack decreased?
· Stop smoking
· Seek medical help for control of diabetes blood hypertension and cholesterol.
· Regular exercise ( at least 30mins a day for at least 5 days a week)
· Maintain optimum weight
· Maintain healthy life style.
When to seek medical advice?
. If you are above 40 consult a cardiologist for routine medical check up.
· If you are hypertensive or diabetic or have high cholesterol, routine follow up will be required
· If you have chest heaviness or shortness of breath.
What to do if you suddenly develop chest pain (suspect heart attack)?
· Rush to the nearest hospital preferably a hospital with a cath- lab and a coronary care unit because the earlier you reach the more will be the chance of restoring the blood flow to the heart muscles; which translates to saving the heart muscle and saving life.
How will the doctors know if you have heart attack and what will they do if you have heart attack?
They will diagnose it from your symptoms and by running some tests(ECG, ECHO and bloos tests). If heart attacked is confirmed they will try to restore the blood flow to the heart by giving medications or by opening the occluded blood vessel in the "Cath - lab".
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