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Heart Attack

Heart Attack
Pronunciation: hart əˈtak

A heart attack, medically known as a myocardial infarction (MI), occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart muscle is blocked, usually by a blood clot, leading to damage or death of that muscle tissue.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency where the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen-rich blood, resulting in damage to the muscle. It is often caused by coronary artery disease, which leads to blockages in the arteries that supply the heart.

Key Facts About Heart Attacks:

  • It’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
  • Symptoms can vary but often include chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea.
  • Early detection and treatment can significantly improve outcomes.

Heart Attack | Symptoms & Causes

What are the common symptoms?

Symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort, often in the center or left side.
  • Pain or discomfort in arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness.

What causes a heart attack?

The primary cause is:

  • Blockage in the coronary arteries, usually due to a buildup of cholesterol, fat, and other substances forming a plaque.

Heart Attack | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is a heart attack diagnosed?

Diagnosis typically involves:

  1. Electrocardiogram (ECG): Measures heart’s electrical activity.
  2. Blood Tests: Checks for specific enzymes that leak into the blood when the heart is damaged.
  3. Imaging Tests: Like angiography, to view blockages.

What are the common treatments?

Treatment aims to restore blood flow and may include:

  1. Medications: Like aspirin, clot-busting drugs, and pain relievers.
  2. Coronary Angioplasty: A procedure to open blocked arteries.
  3. Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: Reroutes blood around clogged arteries.