Whatis A Heart Attack

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A heart attack is death and damage to the heart muscle. This is caused by a blood clot in one of the three main heart arteries, blocking the supply of blood to the heart muscle.

The clot in the heart artery blocks the supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart muscle. Without blood and oxygen, the heart muscle cells die within one hour. Unless the blood supply to the heart muscle is restored within one hour, the muscle cells will not recover. Some recovery of some of the cells may occur if their blood supply is restored within six hours. After 12 hours, the cells cannot recover. This is the reason why it is crucial for patients with heart attacks or suspected heart attacks to phone for an emergency ambulance so that the diagnosis can be confirmed and the condition treated immediately.

Patients with heart attacks are now being taken directly to the cardiac catheter laboratory for angiography to see if a heart artery is blocked and where it is blocked. The cardiologist will then decide what the best treatment is for the patient. This is often

Peritoneal Dialysis Diagram

Figure 4.1: Heart attack: The clot in the heart artery blocks the supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart muscle. The closer the blockage to the beginning of the heart artery, the more heart muscle is affected, and the more damage occurs. The greater the amount of heart muscle damaged, the greater the risk of death, heart failure, and disability.

Figure 4.1: Heart attack: The clot in the heart artery blocks the supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the heart muscle. The closer the blockage to the beginning of the heart artery, the more heart muscle is affected, and the more damage occurs. The greater the amount of heart muscle damaged, the greater the risk of death, heart failure, and disability.

angioplasty and stenting. The artery is opened with a balloon and a stent inserted into the artery at the site of the blockage. Drugs are also given to reduce the chance of further blood clots and all risk factors have to be treated effectively.

The closer the blockage is to the top (origin) of the heart artery, the more heart muscle is at risk of damage. The more muscle damaged, the greater the risk of death, heart failure and disability.

Sudden death, due to a fatal heart rhythm abnormality, may occur even when there is little muscle damage. This is why it is not helpful to describe heart attacks as big or small or major or minor. All heart attacks are potentially fatal. However, the more muscle damaged, the greater the probability that the patient will develop heart failure.

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