Dr. Samira Ziaei-Halaby
May 8, 2012
Myocardial Infarction also known as “heart attack”, is when a damaged muscle or artery is blocked preventing the blood to flow through. Because of fast food places such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and etc… Most Americans prefer eating outside than having a healthy home cooked meal. Many people do not realize the amount of fatty and oily substances that are in the meals that are being cooked. Heart attack is a leading killer in most men and women in the United States .
The heart is made up of four chambers, two atriums and two ventricles. The right side of the heart pumps blood into the lungs and left side pumps blood into the organs and tissues of the body. The right ventricles carry deoxygenated blood to the lungs and the oxygenated blood is carried by the pulmonary veins to the whole body. Blood flows through the coronary arteries also but if one of the arteries gets clogged, blood will not be able to pass through smoothly causing it to build up and damaging the heart muscle. This leads to a very serious heart condition known as Myocardial Infarction or in other words “heart attack”.
A heart attack can lead to other another heart conditions such as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “Heart attacks occur most often as a result of a condition called coronary artery disease” (CAD). During a heart attack, if the coronary artery isn’t treated right away, the heart muscle begins to die and then gets replaced by scar tissue. Due to this, the heart damage may not be obvious and will cause severe or long-lasting problems.
There are many signs a symptoms to detect Myocardial Infarction. The body will send one or more of the following signals uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest last more than a few minutes, pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense it may feel like pressure, tightness, burning or heavy weight. Other symptoms include chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath. Anxiety, nervousness
and or cold sweaty skin, paleness, and increase or irregular heart rate. Not all of these signs however, occur in all the attacks.
Before getting a heart attack, some people may experience angina or chest pains which is the first warning of blocked coronary arteries the cause of most heart attacks (William R. Condos Jr.). Angina is when part for the heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen and then eventually gets damaged. Our heart needs to keep pumping blood to help circulate our body and with out oxygen the blood will not be able to be transported throughout the body if the arteries are blocked.
In order to know that the signs are a leading cause to a heart attack is that the doctor will perfom a few tests. The doctor, will also review the patients complete medical history, give a physical examination, and do an EKG (electrocardiogram). These tests, will help doctors to detect the severity of Myocardial Infarction and to determine whether it is a heart attack or something else. William R. Condos Jr. states, “ the nation’s longest running heart study suggests that about one heart attack in four produces no symptoms, or at least none that the victim associates with the heart problem”. This means that not everyone has any symptoms which is why myocardial infarction is known as the “silent killer”. Because there is no pain, does not necessarily mean that there is no damage done to the heart muscle or artery.
People who are at risk for Myocardial Infarctions are if you are 45 years old and up, if you smoke, type 1 diabetes, patients with hypercholesterolemia and hypertryglyceridemia , poorly controlled hypertension, type A personality and have a sedentary lifestyle. To control the risk of getting heart attacks, it is advised that people take very good care of their health and maintain a healthy diet and a good exercise routine.
There are treatments, to open the blocked artery so that the blood can flow through easily. The treatment is aimed to prevent the heart muscle from being damaged again and from preventing another heart attack to occur. There are four phases the patient undergoes for treatment. The first is Diagnosis, the next is the actual treatment in which cardiac angiogram and opening of the arteries with balloon dialation or stent placement takes place, then its recovery during recovery, the patient is being evaluated and monitored and is being helped with nurses and therapists. After the patient undergoes the treatment, the patient is told to go on strict diets, quit smoking, and watch his or her cholestorol.
Surgery is also done on the patient who is diagnosed with a heart attack. There are two main surgeries Angioplasty and Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. Angioplasty refers to the reopening or unclogging of a blood vessel that is significantly narrowed by plaque (Health Information Publications). When an artery gets blocked, it is possible for surgeons to reopen the blocked area of the heart. Angioplasty involves Balloon Dialation, Mechanical Inner Stripping of the inner lining of a blood vessel, Forceful injection of fibrynolytics, and stent placement.
Balloon Dialation involves an insertion of a thin catheter (a tube that is inserted
into a body cavity, duct, or vessel) which is then attached to a tiny balloon that is inserted
into the blocked artery. Mechanical Inner Stripping of the inner lining of a blood vessel
it’s a surgical procedure that removes the plaque from the blood vessel. Forceful
Injection of fibrynolytics is the injection of drugs that breakdown bloodclots. Stent
placement is a tender tublar structure is inserted in the blood vessel wall to hold open the
blood vessel ((Robert O. Bonow MD (Author),157-183)
The second surgery is called Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. According to the Health Publications Information, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery is when a blood vessel is taken from elsewhere in the body. The blood vessel is then is used to create an alternate pathway of blood or bypass to the heart. Not everyone makes it through surgery, therefore doctors have to be very careful in which surgery they chose to perform.
Having a high cholesterol, is a major lead to having a heart attack. Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance found in the blood and the body’s cells. According to the American Heart Association, If you have a heart disease, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg and your HDL should be less than 40 in men and 50 in women. Saturated fats are the main cause in raising blood pressure and this leads to heart diseases such as a heart attack.
If people were to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there would not be a cause for Myocardial Infarction. Having a proper diet, taking daily vitamins and exercising are ways that many people can reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke or any heart disease of any kind. Heart Attack is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States and should be taken seriously to watch your weight and diet. Those who eat out must take into consideration to not over eat, and consume a lot of fatty and greasy foods so that their arteries will not get clogged and that blood can flow through the heart properly.
Works Cited Page:
American Heart Association, Inc. Cholesterol. © 2010
Capitol Cardiology Associates, PC . Albany, NY Your Heart & Heart Health: How Does the Heart Work. 2006
Guy Slowik .Health Information Publications. Heart Attack. 2002-2009
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, First. Disease & Drug Consult: Cardiovascular Disorders. 1. 1. February 11, 2009. 20-275. Print.
Robert O. Bonow MD (Author), Douglas L. Mann MD FACC (Author), Douglas P. Zipes MD (Author), Peter Libby MD (Author) , . Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine Vol. 2 . 9. 2. February 16, 2011. 157-183. Print.
William R. Condos, Jr., M.D., Medical Director, Cardiovascular Institute of the South/Lake Charles