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, May 10, 2008

Treatment

During a heart attack, act immediately. Take these steps:
By. Mayoclinic

Call for emergency medical help. If you even suspect you're having a heart attack, don't hesitate. Immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. If you don't have access to emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital. Drive yourself only as a last resort, if there are absolutely no other options. Driving yourself puts you and others at risk if your condition suddenly worsens.
Take nitroglycerin. If your doctor has prescribed nitroglycerin, take as instructed while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel.
If you encounter someone who is unconscious from a presumed heart attack, call for emergency medical help and, if you have received training in emergency procedures, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This helps deliver oxygen to the body and brain. If you're not trained in emergency procedures, doctors recommend skipping mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing and proceeding directly to chest compression. Do chest compressions at a rate of 100 a minute.

In the initial minutes, a heart attack can also trigger ventricular fibrillation, a condition in which the heart quivers uselessly. Without immediate treatment, ventricular fibrillation leads to sudden death. The timely use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) that shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm can provide emergency treatment before a person suffering a heart attack reaches the hospital.

Once you reach a hospital emergency room and it's clear you're having a heart attack, you may be treated with medications, undergo an invasive procedure or both — depending on the severity of your condition and the amount of damage to your heart.

Medications
With each passing minute after a heart attack, more tissue is deprived of oxygen and deteriorates or dies. The main way to prevent progressive damage is to restore blood flow quickly.

Medications given to treat a heart attack include:

Aspirin. You may be given aspirin by emergency medical personnel soon after they arrive or as soon as you get to the hospital. Aspirin inhibits blood clotting, thus helping maintain blood flow through a narrowed artery. Take an aspirin yourself while waiting for help to arrive only if your doctor has previously recommended that you do so if you have symptoms of a heart attack.
Thrombolytics. These drugs, also called clot-busters, help dissolve a blood clot that's blocking blood flow to your heart. The earlier you receive a thrombolytic drug following a heart attack, the greater the chance you will survive and lessen the damage to your heart.
Superaspirins. Doctors in the emergency room may give you other drugs which are somewhat similar to aspirin to help prevent new clots from forming. These include medications such as clopidogrel (Plavix) and others called platelet IIb/IIIa receptor blockers.
Other blood-thinning medications. You'll likely be given other medications, such as heparin, to make your blood less "sticky" and less likely to form more dangerous clots. Heparin is given intravenously or by an injection under your skin and is usually used during the first few days after a heart attack.
Pain relievers. If your chest pain or associated pain is great, you may receive a pain reliever, such as morphine, to alleviate your discomfort.
Nitroglycerin. This medication, used to treat chest pain (angina), temporarily opens arterial blood vessels, improving blood flow to and from your heart.
Beta blockers. These medications help relax your heart muscle, slow your heartbeat and decrease blood pressure making your heart's job easier. Beta blockers can limit the amount of heart muscle damage and prevent future heart attacks.
Cholesterol-lowering medications. Examples include statins, niacin, fibrates and bile acid sequestrants. These drugs help lower levels of unwanted blood cholesterol and may be helpful if given soon after a heart attack to improve survival.
Surgical and other procedures
In addition to medications, you may undergo one of the following procedures to treat your heart attack:

Coronary angioplasty and stenting. Emergency angioplasty opens blocked coronary arteries, letting blood flow more freely to your heart. Doctors insert a long, thin tube (catheter) that's passed through an artery, usually in your leg, to a blocked artery in your heart. This catheter is equipped with a special balloon tip. Once in position, the balloon tip is briefly inflated to open up a blocked coronary artery. At the same time, a metal mesh stent may be inserted into the artery to keep it open long term, restoring blood flow to the heart. Depending on your condition, you doctor may opt to place a stent coated with a slow-releasing medication to help keep your artery open.

Coronary angioplasty is done at the same time as a coronary catheterization (angiogram), a procedure that doctors do first to locate narrowed arteries to the heart. When getting an angioplasty for heart attack treatment, the sooner the better. If an angioplasty is performed days or weeks after you've been stabilized with a completely blocked artery, there may not be any benefit.

Coronary artery bypass surgery. In rare cases, doctors may perform emergency bypass surgery at the time of a heart attack. Bypass surgery involves sewing veins or arteries in place at a site beyond a blocked or narrowed coronary artery (bypassing the narrowed section), restoring blood flow to the heart. Or your doctor may suggest that you have this procedure after your heart has had time to recover from your heart attack.
Once blood flow to your heart is restored and your condition is stable following your heart attack, you may be hospitalized for observation. Because physical exertion and emotional upset place stress on your heart, be sure to rest. Visitors are usually limited to family members and close friends.

Rehabilitation
The goal of emergency treatment of a heart attack is to restore blood flow and save heart tissue. The purpose of subsequent treatment is to promote healing of your heart and prevent another heart attack.

Some hospitals offer cardiac rehabilitation programs that may start while you're in the hospital and, depending on the severity of your attack, continue for weeks to months after you return home. Cardiac rehabilitation programs generally focus on three main areas — medications, lifestyle changes and emotional issues.

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