The hearts primary function is to pump blood through blood vessels to the body’s cells. The heart is really a muscular bag surrounding four hollow compartments, with a thin wall of muscle separating the left hand side from the right hand side. The muscles in the heart are very strong because they have to push the blood to our head and feet continuously. Circulation is the blood flow around our bodies. The heart connects the two major portions of the circulation's continuous circuit, the systemic circulation and the pulmonary circulation. The blood vessels in the pulmonary circulation carry the blood through the lungs where the gasses oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. While the blood vessels in the systemic circulation carry the blood throughout the rest of our body (Martini & Bartholomew, 2010).
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a long enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies, this is called a myocardial infarction (MayoClinic, 2011). A heart attack occurs when one or more coronary arteries become blocked. This blockage is usually caused by build up of cholesterol in the artery (MayoClinic, 2011). The symptoms include pressure in your chest that last longer than a minute, pain that extends from your chest to your arm, increasing episodes of chest pain, prolonged pain in the upper abdomen, shortness of breath, sweating, fainting, and nausea. There are some more symptoms that usually only occur in women and these are heartburn, clammy skin, dizziness, and unusual fatigue (MayoClinic, 2011). It is important to remember that the symptoms vary and not everyone has all the symptoms.
Your doctor may use a number of tests...