The heart of the issue is... the issue of the HEART!
An acute heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart is deprived of oxygen. If the blood flow isn’t restored rapidly, the section of heart muscle begins to die and can result in heart failure.
Heart attack is an acute coronary syndrome. The name ‘acute coronary syndrome’ is given to three types of coronary artery disease that are associated with sudden rupture of plaque inside the coronary artery
- Unstable angina: The angina may occur frequently at rest, feel more severe, or last longer. This angina can often be relieved with oral medications. It is unstable in nature and may progress to a heart attack. It is an acute coronary syndrome that should be treated as a medical emergency
- Non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction or heart attack (NSTEMI):It does not show any changes on an electrocardiogram (ECG). However, chemical markers in the blood indicate that damage has occurred to the heart muscle. In NSTEMI, the blockage may be partial or temporary, and so the extent of the damage relatively minimal.
- ST segment elevation myocardial infarction or heart attack (STEMI):The heart attack in this case is caused by a long standing blockage in blood supply. It damages the heart muscle, indicates changes in the ECG as well as in the blood levels of key chemical markers.
- Pressure and squeezing sensation in the chest that may come and go or remain constant and intense
- Pain or discomfort in the upper body including arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Stomach discomfort and nausea that feels like indigestion
- Shortness of breath.
- Excessive sweating
- Unusual chronic fatigue or sudden severe fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Pain in the upper back, shoulder, or throat
- Radiating jaw pain
- Pressure or pain in the chest radiating to the arm.
The site of the blockage, the duration of the block and the extent of damage that occurs determines the type of acute coronary syndrome.
There are many symptoms and early warning signs of heart attack that if identified, can play an important role in saving lives
Symptoms of a heart attack in men
Symptoms of heart attack in women
Being aware of these early warning signs can lead to quick medical treatment that can prevent heart damage. Eighty-five percent of heart damage happens in the first two hours following a heart attack when the patient is far from medical help during the crucial hours.