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Cardiology

Heart Attack

A Heart Attack is the death of a section of heart muscle caused by a lack of blood supply. Read about symptoms, prevention and what we need to do.

Heart Attack
A Heart Attack is the death of a section of heart muscle caused by a lack of blood supply. The blood is cut off or severely reduced when a blood clot blocks an artery.
Today, thanks to medical and technological advances, if a patient who has suffered a Heart Attack gets immediate medical treatment firstly in the emergency room, the damage can be reduced so the chances of restoring his/her heart and health are positive.

Causes

A Heart Attack occurs when one or more coronary arteries become blocked. Over time, a concentration of fat deposits, including cholesterol, form substances called plaques, which can narrow the arteries (Atherosclerosis). This condition, called coronary artery disease, causes most Heart Attacks.

Another cause of Heart Attack is a spasm of a coronary artery that inhibits blood flow to one part to part of the heart muscle. Using tobacco and illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can cause a life-threatening spasm.

Being infected with COVID-19 can damage the heart, resulting in a Heart Attack.

Symptoms 

There are apparent symptoms of a Heart Attack that need urgent medical attention.   

  • A feeling of pressure in the chest

  • Pain in the chest or arms that spreads to the neck, jaw, or back

  • Coughing

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath (Dyspnea)

  • Face seeming gray

  • Fullness, or a choking feeling (it may feel like Heartburn)

  • Cold Sweating

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat


Risk Factors

Some factors contribute to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries (Atherosclerosis) that makes them narrow. These factors are:

  • Age: Men over 45 and women over 55 are more likely to have a Heart Attack
  • Smoking
  • Having Hypertension
  • Having elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels
  • Suffer from Obesity
    Having Diabetes
  • Suffering from Metabolic syndrome
  • Family history of Heart Attacks
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Stress
  • Using illicit drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamines, can trigger a spasm of the coronary artery, leading to a Heart Attack
  •  Preeclampsia history
  • An autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, can increase the risk of a Heart Attack

Diagnosis

Your doctor may order tests such as:


Treatment

At the first symptoms of a Heart Attack, call emergencies. The best time to handle a Heart Attack is within 1 or 2 hours after symptoms start. 


Every minute after a Heart Attack, more heart tissue deteriorates or dies. Restoring blood flow helps prevent damage to the heart. Here are some medications used to treat Heart Attacks: 


  • Aspirin. Aspirin reduces blood clotting, maintaining to keep blood flowing through narrow arteries 

  • Thrombolytics. These medications help dissolve blood clots that block blood flow to the heart

  • Antiplatelet agents 

  • Other blood-thinning medications, such as heparin, make the blood less dense or "sticky" and reduce the chance of other clots forming 

  • Analgesics 

  • Beta-blockers. They help the heart muscle to relax, slowing down the heart rate and lowering blood pressure, making it easier for the heart to work 

  • Statins. Help control cholesterol


This medications commonly used for a Heart Attack list is mentioned only as a reference and informative purposes. The treatment and medications for a Heart Attack should be only used by health professionals.





How to cope after a Heart Attack, and how to prevent it

It's never too late to take action and prevent a Heart Attack, even if you've had one before. Here are the ways it can be prevented:

  • Avoid smoking

  • Eating a healthful diet

  • Exercising

  • Keeping a good sleep quality

  • Keeping Diabetes, Cholesterol and Blood Pressure under control

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Maintaining a healthy weight

  • Avoiding or managing stress


¿When should I go to the Doctor?
A Heart Attack is a critical medical emergency. If you or someone you know is experiencing some of the common symptoms that could indicate a Heart Attack,  you can go directly to the BlueNetHospitals Emergency Room in Los Cabos or call an ambulance at 624 1043 911.

The Cardiologist is the specialist doctor who will control this condition and give the appropriate recommendations to prevent Heart Attacks.

BlueNetHospitals - Hospital Los Cabos

BlueNet Hospitals.