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Acute myocardial infarction - an Overview

What is AMI?

Illustration of heart attack
The heart is a strong muscle pumps blood into the arteries and thus ensures that the blood circulating in the body. The heart receives its nutrients and oxygen (oxygen) from the blood vessels that are located outside of the heart, called the coronary arteries or coronary arteries. A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel to become blocked by a blood clot. The blocking an insufficient blood supply and damage to a portion of the heart. Since there is more blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen, the extent and location of the injury depend on the vasculature, where it is blocked and to what extent other vessels may take blood supply.

The symptoms come suddenly and described as clamping or constricting pain in the middle of the chest, often with radiation onto the left arm, neck or jaw. You are often short of breath and nausea, and it is normal that you kaldsvetter. The pain relieved not taking nitroglycerin. In recent years it has become clear that especially women often experience atypical symptoms, for example pain only in the back or upper abdomen, and in almost half of cases, pain is not the main symptom. Also in men see that pain is the main symptom in only approx. Two of three cases.

Annual recorded 10,000-15,000 cases of heart attacks.

What causes acute myocardial infarction?
The immediate mechanism of an acute myocardial infarction is usually that it acts a rift in atherosclerosis and the formation of a blood clot (thrombosis) that causes the crane artery clogging. Muscle tissue that receives its blood supply from this artery, and will die over days and weeks is converted into scar tissue and lose their ability to contract. After a heart attack is therefore weakened heart. The extent of deterioration depends on the extent of loss of muscle tissue.

Several factors make you more likely to develop heart attacks:

  • Smoking is the main cause of the disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress
  • Men are generally more likely than women

How is your condition?
Patients with acute myocardial infarction are admitted to hospital immediately. The short term goal of treatment is to do damage to the heart as small as possible. In the long term, seeking doctors to reduce the risk of further heart attacks.

Self Treatment
There are several things you should make sure:

  • The most important thing is to stop smoking
  • Healthy diet with less fat, more fiber and vegetables are also important in reducing cholesterol
  • Exercise is important for the heart and blood vessels
  • You should avoid too much stress
  • Drug Therapy

In hospitals and doctors drugs that dissolve blood clots ( thrombolysis ). If this occurs quickly, it may reduce infarct size significantly.

  • Beta blockers are a type of medication used in the first year after a heart attack, because it has been shown that it reduces the risk of recurrence which
  • Aspirin is used both in the acute situation and to prevent further heart attacks. In some cases it may also be necessary to use stronger anticoagulant therapy than aspirin
  • Medications that lower cholesterol, statins are recommended for most after myocardial infarction. This also has been shown to have preventive effect against new infarction

Other drugs may also be relevant

Other treatment
In the larger hospitals performed percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute myocardial infarction. You will be within approx. 6 hours (preferably within 3 hours) undergo a cardiac catheterization where the doctors lead a catheter (wire) through the arteries and takes pictures of blood over the inside. That way you can see the narrowing and freight charges. blockages. As a continuation of cardiac catheterization done the so-called balloon dilation and ev. stenting. The narrow party "blasted" and a stent (a kind of reinforcement) is left on the narrow place to keep the artery open. The blood supply improves, the damage to the heart muscle becomes less and long term prospects are better.

Is still the case that only the largest hospitals that do angioplasty. There is plenty of research showing that this treatment is more effective than thrombolytic treatment. It is therefore conceivable that the new development will be that people with acute myocardial infarction who live near a large hospital will be treated with acute PCI, whereas patients with long transport routes are treated with thrombolysis locally and then transported to a large hospital for the PCI-treatment .

How is long-term prospects?
Heart attack is a serious condition that develops rapidly. Than 90% yet survive an acute myocardial infarction. If you are hospitalized, chances are good. The younger you are, the better the prognosis.

With modern treatment and change of lifestyle is a good chance to avoid new infarction.

A dangerous complication is rhythm disturbance of the heart. This most often occurs in the acute phase. Therefore, you are carefully monitored and treated during hospitalization.

You can also develop heart failure after a heart attack. This means that the heart is not pumping well enough to maintain a satisfactory blood circulation. This results in poorer physical performance and breathlessness.

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