Understanding Acute Coronary Syndrome

Topics: Myocardial infarction, Heart, Angina pectoris Pages: 3 (808 words) Published: February 7, 2013
The article entitled “Acute Coronary Syndrome,” written by Kristen J. Overbaugh, is a very informative piece that encourages all nurses to be able to effectively identify the signs and symptoms, as well as be informed of the treatments involved within the set of diseases that this syndrome entails. I chose this article in particular because coronary artery disease is the number one disease in our nation, and everyone that works in the health field should know at least the basics involved in recognizing the signs and symptoms in a patient, even if they are not qualified to “make the diagnosis.” Knowing what to look for in a patient, and being able to pass the information on to other members on the medical team will help the patient to receive the optimum care in an efficient time frame, which is important to save heart muscle.

The article goes into detail describing which diseases are considered to be in the category of acute coronary syndrome. Also it gives very scary statistics such as “One woman or man experiences a coronary artery disease event about every 2.5 seconds…” (Overbaugh, 2009, p.42). That number alone should be a wakeup call to all Americans to begin anew, although it is more of an optimistic dream rather than a reality.

Ms. Overbaugh is very thorough, going through risk factors, pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and various treatment options, depending on the progression of the disease and the individual patient’s needs. What I am very glad to see, is that she has also included in her article the atypical signs and symptoms that are experienced by women during experiencing a myocardial infarction. These symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, lethargy, indigestion and anxiety right before an acute MI (Overbaugh, 2009 p.45). Also, it goes on to mention that women typically experience a numb or tingling feeling in their back rather than in the chest, as would a man may feel. I feel that this explains what is different in a female...
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