First Aid

First Aid

Submitted by : Dheeraj Soni

Sudden Illness: Heart Attack

Heart attack (or acute myocardial infarction) refers to a sudden illness which occurs when blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted. It commonly occurs due to the blockage of a coronary artery caused by rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque. This restriction in blood supply and shortage of oxygen if left untreated can cause damage and or death of heart muscle tissue.

About half of all the heart attack victims wait at least 2 hours before seeking help. This prevents them from sudden death or disability. However the damage done to the heart is directly proportional to the duration for which the artery remains blocked.

About 1/5 of all the heart attacks are silent, i.e., the victim is not able to feel its occurrence. Although it might be painless, they can still damage the heart.

Causes :-

❖ Cardiovascular disease

❖ Older age

❖ Tobacco smoking

❖ High blood level of certain lipids

❖ Diabetes

❖ High blood pressure

❖ Obesity

❖ Chronic heart disease

❖ Heart failure

❖ Excessive alcohol consumption

❖ Abuse of certain drugs

❖ Chronic high stress levels

The symptoms include:

❖ Chest pain

❖ Shortness of breath

❖ Nausea

❖ Vomiting

❖ Palpitation

❖ Sweating

❖ Anxiety

Typical symptoms experienced by woman are fewer than in man and may include:

❖ shortness of breath

❖ weakness

❖ a feeling of indigestion

❖ fatigue

Diagnostic tests for heart attack include:

❖ Electrocardiogram

❖ Blood tests

❖ Chest X-ray

❖ Nuclear scan

❖ Echocardiogram

Treatment :

❖ Heart attacks are treated with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when required to start and keep the patient breathing and his heart beating. The patient is rushed to the hospital where he is carefully examined. If required an electrical shock...

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