Heart Attack...!

Everybody can have a heart attack, men and women, even teenage. Becareful with this disease, read carefully about signs and preventive.
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Limiting Heart Muscle Damage

Treatments for a heart attack work to open the blocked artery to restore blood flow as fast as possible to prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle, and to lessen the chance of a repeat attack. The main treatments are thrombolytic ("clot-busting") therapy, other medications, and special procedures, such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery.
To be most effective, these treatments must be given fast–within 1 hour of the start of heart attack symptoms. Acting fast can save your life and limit damage to your heart.
To learn more about treatment:
. Thrombolytic therapy.
. Other medications.
. Special procedures.

Thrombolytic Therapy

"Thrombolytic" or "clot-busting" therapy is used to stop a heart attack in its tracks. The drugs prevent or limit heart muscle damage by dissolving clots that block an artery. This opens up the artery and restores the blood flow.
Clot-busting drugs must be given immediately after heart attack symptoms begin. The sooner they are started, the more good they do-and the greater the chances are of a full recovery. To be most effective, they need to be given within 1 hour of the start of heart attack symptoms.

Other Medications

Besides thrombolytic, or clot-busting, drugs, other medications also are used to treat a heart attack and ischemia, as well as to ease chest pain. These drugs include aspirin, nitrates, such as nitroglycerin, and beta blockers.

  • Aspirin. Aspirin is now given to all patients who arrive at the hospital emergency department with a suspected heart attack. Aspirin acts to thin the blood and lessen the size of a blood clot during a heart attack.
  • Nitrates, including nitroglycerin. This relaxes blood vessels and stops chest pain.
  • Beta blockers. These reduce nerve impulses to the heart and blood vessels. This makes the heart beat more slowly and with less force.

Special Procedures

Doctors sometimes need to do a special procedure to improve blood flow to the heart muscle when the heart’s artery, or arteries, are narrowed or blocked. Two commonly used procedures are coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. These procedures can be done during a heart attack or later.
While a Heart Attack is happening, the sooner these procedures are done, the greater the chances of saving heart muscle and of surviving a heart attack.

Here's more on these special procedures :
  • Coronary angioplasty, or balloon angioplasty. In this procedure, a fine tube, or catheter, is threaded through an artery into the narrowed heart vessel. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. The balloon is repeatedly inflated and deflated to open and stretch the artery, improving blood flow. The balloon is then deflated, and the tube is removed.
    Doctors often insert a stent during the angioplasty. A wire mesh tube, the stent is used to keep an artery open after an angioplasty. The stent stays permanently in the artery.
    In up to a third of those who have an angioplasty, the blood vessel becomes narrowed or blocked again within 6 months. This is more likely to happen if you smoke, or have diabetes or unstable angina. Vessels that reclose may be re-opened with another angioplasty or need a coronary artery bypass graft. Even an artery with a stent can reclose.
  • Coronary artery bypass graft operation. Also known as "bypass surgery," the procedure uses a piece of vein taken from the leg, or of an artery taken from the chest or wrist. This is attached to the heart artery above and below the narrowed area, thus making a bypass around the blockage. Sometimes, more than one bypass is needed.
    Bypass surgery may be needed due to various reasons, such as an angioplasty that did not sufficiently widen the blood vessel, or blockages that cannot be reached by, or are too long or hard for, angioplasty. In certain cases, bypass surgery may be preferred. For instance, it may be used for persons who have both coronary heart disease and diabetes.
    A bypass also can close again. This happens in more than 10 percent of bypass surgeries, usually after 10 or more years.

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