Heart Attack Treatment

What Happens to the Body During a Heart Attack?

The heart pumps blood for supply throughout the body and for its vital organs.

The circulation of blood in the thick heart muscles is called coronary circulation and is carried out by coronary blood vessels. These arteries deliver blood rich with oxygen to important regions and parts of the body ensuring a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen.

In a healthy body, the walls of coronary arteries are smooth and uniformly thick allowing unobstructed free flow of blood to vital parts of the body. However, sometimes high cholesterol levels in a person's diet can induce a deposit of fatty plaque on the interior arterial walls. Over the years, if untreated or undetected, this plaque and fibrous tissue build-up can become hardened and cause a narrowing of the arterial pathway. This is known as atherosclerosis and is one the greatest and foremost causes of Coronary Artery Disease. This arterial plaque can become unstable and rapidly rupture to produce a blood clot or a thrombus. In severe conditions, this rupture can cause a heart attack by obstructing the free flow of blood.

Acute Myocardial Infarction

A heart attack is medically termed as Acute Myocardial Infarction and is brought on when the blood supply to heart or a part of the heart is obstructed or interrupted mainly caused by a vulnerable plaque. These irregularities in the blood stream columns can be viewed through something called a angiography and will show a narrowing of the arterial lumen as a consequence of years of atherosclerosis. The classical symptoms of a heart attack can range from shortness of breath, fatigue, a radiating pain to the left arm, shoulder, neck or jaw, nausea to palpitations and sweating. However a fourth of all heart attacks can be the silent type without any major symptoms. Sometimes a silent heart attack can point towards a serious condition called "silent ischemia" or a chronic shortage of supply of oxygen and blood to the heart. This can put the patient in a considerably high risk category.

The electrical impulses from a damaged heart tissue transmit slower than a healthy heart tissue. This can bring about a feedback loop resulting in a serious and possibly fatal arrhythmia. One serious manifestation can be ventricular fibrillation which can cause sudden cardiac death. Also a ventricular tachycardia can occur which can bring about rapid heartbeats and ineffective pumping of blood causing the blood pressure levels in the body to drop dangerously. A cardiac defibrillator can be used to set right these arrhythmias.Higher Risk

People who are at greater risk of a heart attack are the ones over the age 50 with a previous history of vascular disease, a life style of high alcohol consumption, smoking, drug abuse and high cholesterol levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein). The risk of a heart attack can be greatly reduced if prior and prompt self care before any serious illness manifests.