To Diagnose Heart Attacks
heart attack, also known as an acute myocardial infarction
(ami), is an injury to the heart muscle which is the result
of a prolonged lack of oxygen filled blood due to a loss of
blood supply. It usually occurs when a blood clot blocks
flow of blood through a blood vessel, (coronary artery), that
feeds blood to a part of the heart muscle. When that
blood flow becomes interrupted, your heart muscle can be damaged
or destroyed. Three main things can cause an interruption
of the blood flow: a blood clot (thrombus), atherosclerosis,
and coronary artery spasm.
According to the World Health Organization, 12 million people
die each year worldwide from cardiovascular disease. It is
the leading cause of death in the United States. In this country
alone, approximately 5 million Americans sufer sudden heart
attacks each year.
Heart attacks in women, in older adults and in people with
diabetes tend to be less pronounced. In fact, some people
have no symptoms at all. Warning signs and symptoms
include: pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the
center of your chest, increasing episodes of chest pain, shortness
of breath, sweating, nausea and vomiting, fainting, and lightheadedness.
About half of all heart attack victims have warning signs
and symptoms hours, days or weeks in advance. The earliest
predictor of an attack may be recurrent chest pain that is
triggered by exertion and relieved by rest.
Once a heart attack is suspected, the emergency room or treating
physician will usually conduct tests to confirm or rule out
a heart attack. He may also order tests to confirm the
existence of coronary artery disease (CAD). These tests may
include an EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram), cardiac enzyme
laboratory studies, EBCT (electron beam computerized tomography),
an echocardiogram, a stress test, or coronary catheterization
The goal of treatment for a heart attack is to decrease stress
on the heart and restore blood supply to the affected area.
Successful restoration of the blood supply often depends on
timely diagnosis of a heart attack. Initial treatment
of a heart attack in the emergency room may involve medications
called thrombolytics such as TPA (tissue plasminogen activator),
or clot-busting drugs, nitroglycerine, or beta blockers. Thrombolytic
therapy should be considered in patients who have had an AMI
four to six hours after the onset of chest pain, and has been
proven effective within 24 hours after onset.
In addition to medications, a patient diagnosed with a heart
attack may undergo invasive procedures such as percutaneous
transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or coronary bypass
surgery. These procedures have their own risk factors
associated with them.
If you or someone you know has had a heart attack, but was
not properly treated, call Phillips & Mitchell toll free
for a free consultation, 1-866-321-1580, or click here
for a Free Case Review.
|Case Review | Find An Attorney | FAQ's | Settlements | Statistics | Disclaimer | Contact | Home
The statements and information provided on this web site are for the information of the recipient only. This site is not intended to provide legal advice and no attorney-client relationship should be deemed to arise from the receipt of this page and its associated pages.
Copyright © 2003 MedicalMalpracticeToday.com, All Rights Reserved.