Heart Attack

A heart attack, also known as Acute Myocardial Infarction or Acute Coronary Syndrome, occurs in a patient with Coronary Artery Disease.

Heart attacks happen when the surface of a cholesterol plaque in a coronary artery suddenly tears or ruptures. This leads to the formation of a blood clot, which can lead to a critical blockage of the artery. Next, the blood supply to that particular portion of the heart is affected, leading to damage of the heart muscle.

If not treated in time, one in two people can die within one hour of a heart attack.

To identify if someone is having a heart attack, keep a lookout for any of the symptoms below.

  • Sudden onset left-sided or central chest tightness
  • Associated with pain in the left arm, neck, jaw, or shoulder
  • Chest tightness with mild exertion or at rest
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness/Fainting (syncope)
  • Sudden death

Some less common symptoms are:

  • Right-sided chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath on exertion
  • Heartburn-like symptoms
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • No symptoms (also known as a silent heart attack)

These symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease are more common in the elderly, females, and diabetic patients.

Common tests used to diagnose heart attack include:

  • Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)​
  • Blood tests for cardiac enzymes (troponin, creatine kinase)​
  • Treadmill Stress ECG​
  • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging​
  • CT Coronary Angiography​
  • Coronary Angiography​

Every single second is important when it comes to heart attacks.  Call 995 for the emergency ambulance or seek help immediately at the nearest Emergency Department if you suspect you have or someone is having a heart attack.

The main treatments available include:

Coronary Angioplasty

This should be performed early, and in certain situations, emergently, as it can be life-saving. Also known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or Stenting, this is a minimally invasive procedure that usually involves the ballooning of the artery to first open up the blocked artery, followed by the implantation of a Stent to act as a “scaffolding” to keep the artery open.

Medical treatment

Medical treatment is necessary even if one undergoes coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery

If multiple arteries are blocked, especially in diabetic patients or if heart function is impaired, open heart bypass surgery may be recommended as the preferred treatment for Heart Attack.

A full body check up can help identify if you are at risk for heart attacks. Simply call us to make an enquiry or schedule a screening appointment.

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