So first thing comes to the mind is what exactly is a heart attack
Well lets discuss it thoroughly.
Heart attack or Myocardial Infarction (MI) is one of the most severe and life-threatening cardiac ailments. It can kill an individual within 10 minutes of onset if massive.
What happens in a heart attack?
Remember our heart is one major pump by our body which pumps blood to the centre body. This pumping is done by the heart muscles. The heart muscles derive their nutrition from the three blood vesicles known as coronary arteries.
In heart attack there happens an acute and complete (100%) blockage of any of the coronary arteries. Causing damage and death of the cardiac muscles.
What are the symptoms and signs of a heart attack?
The most common symptoms of heart attack are ‘chest pain’ which has the following characteristics
- Central and compressing in nature
- Feeling of heaviness in the central chest
- Profuse sweating – very important
- Pain radiating to both hands
- Pain in the lower part of the chest along with vomiting
It is said that a heart attack causes the worst chest pain in one’s life.
Once man chest pain, patients of heart attack can also have symptoms like
- Sudden onset of breathlessness
- Sudden onset of palpitation and unconsciousness
Though these are classical symptoms my advice to all would be whenever you have any of the symptoms, do not waste valuable time and seek immediate medical attention and definitely do an ECG at the chest.
Remember heart attack is configured by ECG which is available in almost all medical set up. Consult your physician / Cardiologist at the earliest with ECG.
What should be done once a diagnosis of heart attack is made?
If the diagnosis has been done outside the hospital setting the patient should be rushed to a nearby hospital where at least the basic treatment can be given.
What is the best treatment for a heart attack?
The best treatment for a heart attack is Angioplasty. It should be done as early as possible in places where it is available.
So, it is advisable that if possible patient should be referred to most hospitals which can perform this life-saving procedure 24×7.
Author– Dr Debdatta Majumdar,
M.B.B.S- Calcutta University, MD Medicine(Cal)(Gold Medalist), DM Cardiology(Cal), MRCP(London)