Heart Attack

Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, is a condition where the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle gets suddenly blocked. As a result, the heart muscle gets damaged and stops functioning. Medically, the damage to the heart is known as infarction.

The oxygen-rich blood is a food for the heart muscle. It nourishes the muscle and keeps it healthy. The blood is supplied to the heart by coronary arteries. When these arteries get suddenly clogged with a blood clot that is big enough to hamper the blood flow, the person first experiences a type of chest pain called angina. The prolonged angina may lead to the attack.

A heart attack can also lead to immediate complications like a sudden, dangerous drop in the blood pressure level, accumulation of fluids around the lungs, and blood clotting in the deep veins of the legs.

Chronic conditions like arteriosclerosis also lead to heart attack. It is a condition where cholesterol deposits get accumulated on the walls of the arteries. Slowly, the deposits thicken and harden to form calcium deposits that eventually block the arteries. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that liver produces, and the blood carries it to all the body cells. Extra cholesterol that enters the body through excess consumption of dairy products, meat, and tropical oils led to the clogging of arteries.

High blood pressure, known as hypertension, also increases the risk of heart attack. Hypertension is caused due to bad habits of drinking and smoking, stress, and obesity.

Old age, diabetes, hereditary, physical inactivity are some of the other reasons for the attack.

There are mainly three ways of diagnosing a heart attack: Electrocardiograph (ECG), Cardiac enzyme tests, and chest X-ray. An ECG is a medical device that monitors the electrical system of the heart to look for any damages or abnormalities with the functioning of the heart. The ECG data can help in estimating the time period of the heart attack.

Cardiac enzyme tests detect the presence of new enzymes that enter the bloodstream during the attack. Chest X-rays help in detecting if there is any swelling in the heart or not.

Heart attack is a serious condition and requires prompt medical attention. However, there is always a time lag between hospitalization and the occurrence of an attack. During this time, a patient can be given cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), aspirin, and thrombolytics.

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