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Blocked Artery

Blocked Artery

Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, call your emergency response number. Every minute matters! It’s best to call EMS to get to the emergency room right away.

Emergency medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.



Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.

Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack.

The heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men

Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.



heart-healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease, which can lead to acute coronary syndrome. If you already have heart disease, a heart-healthy lifestyle along with medicine can help prevent a heart attack.

Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.

Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.

Eat a heart-healthy diet that has lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Eat a heart-healthy diet that has lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Take a daily aspirin if your doctor advises it.

Take a daily aspirin if your doctor advises it.

Don't smoke.

Don't smoke.

Manage other health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Manage other health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Be active. Your doctor can suggest a safe level of exercise for you.

Be active. Your doctor can suggest a safe level of exercise for you.

Lower your stress level. Stress can damage your heart.

Lower your stress level. Stress can damage your heart.



treatment will start in the ambulance with aspirin and other medicines

If you call , treatment will start in the ambulance with aspirin and other medicines.

treatment will start in the ambulance with aspirin and other medicines
In the hospital

In the hospital, the doctor will work right away to return blood flow to your heart. You may get medicines to break up and prevent blood clots. You may get nitroglycerin and other medicines that make your arteries wider. This helps improve blood flow and relieve symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure. You also may get pain medicine and oxygen.

Your test results will help your doctor decide about more treatment. You might have angioplasty or bypass surgery to improve blood flow to your heart.

test results

During angioplasty, doctors inflate a small balloon to open the artery. A stent, a wire mesh tube, may be permanently placed in the artery to keep it open. For hospitals not equipped to do angioplasty quickly, drugs may be used to dissolve blood clots, but more hospitals are making the procedure available in a timely manner, Bolger said.

angioplasty
take medicines that lower your risk of a heart attack

After you get out of the hospital, you will continue to take medicines that lower your risk of a heart attack. Medicine may include beta-blockers, aspirin or other medicines to prevent blood clots, blood pressure medicine, and cholesterol

If your doctor has not set you up with a cardiac rehab program, talk to him or her about whether that is right for you. In cardiac rehab, you will get education and support that help you make new, healthy habits, such as eating healthy food and getting more exercise.

In cardiac rehab, you will get education and support that help you make new, healthy habits


To determine what’s causing your symptoms, a doctor will take a careful medical history and give you a physical examination. If the doctor suspects an acute coronary syndrome, the following tests will be performed:

A doctor will give you a physical exam and ask about your symptoms and past health. He or she also will ask about your family’s health. You will have several tests to find out what is causing your symptoms.

How is acute coronary syndrome diagnosed?

An electrocardiogram can show whether you have angina or have had a heart attack. This test measures the electrical signals that control your heart’s rhythm. Small pads or patches will be taped to your chest and other areas of your body. They connect to a machine that traces the signals onto paper. The doctor will look for certain changes on the graph to see if your heart is not getting enough blood or if you are having a heart attack.

How is acute coronary syndrome diagnosed?
A blood test will look for a rise in cardiac enzymes. The heart releases these substances when it is damaged.
A blood test

In some cases, you might have a test called a cardiac perfusion scan to see if your heart is getting enough blood. It also can be used to check for areas of damage  after a heart attack.

a cardiac perfusion scan

If tests confirm blood flow to the heart has been blocked, doctors will work quickly to reopen the artery.



top of the plaque buildup

Unstable angina happens when blood flow to the heart is suddenly slowed by narrowed coronary arteries. Or small blood clots form in the coronary arteries and slow blood flow. Typically, there is no damage to the heart muscle. It often happens when you are at rest.

You may have had stable angina You knew when to expect your symptoms, such as when you exercised. Stable angina usually goes away when you rest or take your angina medicine. But the symptoms of unstable angina may not go away with rest or medicine. It may get worse or happen at times that it didn’t before. Unstable angina symptoms may mean that you are having a heart attack.

Three types of angina
A heart attack means

A heart attack means

heart attack means a coronary artery has been blocked and the heart has been damaged. Without blood flow and oxygen, part of the heart starts to die.



The majority of cases are due to there being some narrowing in the blood vessels supplying the heart. This is usually due to the presence of some atheroma within the lining of the artery. Atheroma is like fatty patches or plaques that develop within the inside lining of arteries. (This is similar to water pipes that get furred up.)

Plaques of atheroma may gradually form over a number of years in one or more places in the coronary arteries. Each plaque has an outer firm shell with a soft inner fatty core. Atheroma leads to the blood vessels narrowing.
What causes acute coronary syndrome (ACS)?

Various other uncommon conditions can also block a coronary artery.

For example:

Inflammation of the coronary arteries (rare).

A blood clot forming elsewhere in the body (for example, in a heart chamber) and travelling to a coronary artery where it gets stuck.

Complications from heart surgery.

A stab wound to the heart.

Taking cocaine, which can cause a coronary artery to go into spasm.

Some other rare heart problems.

Chest pain caused by acute coronary syndromes can come on suddenly, as is the case with a heart attack. Other times, the pain can be unpredictable or get worse even with rest, both hallmark symptoms of unstable angina. People who experience chronic chest pain resulting from years of cholesterol buildup in their arteries can develop an acute coronary syndrome if a blood clot forms on
What causes acute coronary syndrome (ACS)?

What causes acute coronary syndrome?

Acute coronary syndrome happens because blood flow has slowed or stopped in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Acute coronary syndrome is typically caused by coronary artery diseaseCoronary artery disease, also called heart disease, is caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

What causes acute coronary syndrome (ACS)?
Atherosclerosis causes a substance called plaque to build up in the coronary arteries.

Atherosclerosis causes a substance called plaque to build up in the coronary arteries. Plaque causes angina by narrowing the arteries. The narrowing limits blood flow to the heart muscle. A heart attack happens when blood flow is completely blocked.



ACS ranges from a heart attack (myocardial infarction) to unstable angina.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

If you have a heart attack, a coronary artery or one of its smaller branches is suddenly blocked. The part of the heart muscle supplied by this artery loses its blood (and oxygen) supply. This part of the heart muscle is at risk of dying unless the blockage is quickly undone. (The word infarction means death of some tissue due to a blocked artery which stops blood from getting past.) In addition to being known as a heart attack, a myocardial infarction is sometimes called a coronary thrombosis.

Heart attack (myocardial infarction)

Three types of angina:

Stable angina

Unstable angina

Variant angina

Classic angina

Crescendo angina

Prinzmetal angina

Three types of angina

Unstable angina

Unstable angina occurs when the blood clot causes a reduced blood flow but not a total blockage. This means that the heart muscle supplied by the affected artery does not die (infarct).



Understanding the heart and coronary arteries

The heart is made mainly of special muscle. The heart pumps blood into blood vessels (arteries) which take the blood to every part of the body.
The coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart If these arteries are narrowed or blocked, the heart does not get enough oxygen.

This can cause angina or a heart attack. The blockage can be sudden and complete, or it can come and go – clot, break open, then clot again. “In either case, the heart tissue is dying, even if it’s just a few cells or a whole big section of the heart,” Bolger said.

Like any other muscle, the heart muscle needs a good blood supply. The coronary arteries take blood to the heart muscle. The main coronary arteries branch off from the aorta. The aorta is the large artery which takes oxygen-rich blood from the heart chambers to the body. The main coronary arteries divide into smaller branches which take blood to all parts of the heart muscle.

Understanding the heart and coronary arteries


The term ‘acute coronary syndrome’ covers a range of disorders, including a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and unstable angina, that are caused by the same underlying problem.
The underlying problem is a sudden reduction of blood flow to part of the heart muscle. This is usually caused by a blood clot that forms on a patch of atheroma within a coronary artery.

What is acute coronary syndrome (ACS)

The types of problems range from unstable angina to an actual myocardial infarction. In unstable angina a blood clot causes reduced blood flow but not a total blockage.

What is acute coronary syndrome (ACS)

Therefore, the heart muscle supplied by the affected artery does not die (infarct). The location of the blockage, the length of time that blood flow is blocked and the amount of damage that occurs determine the type of ACS.



Emirates Cardiac Society

SHARING MATTERS OF HEART

SHARING MATTERS OF HEART




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Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS) is a non-profit organization comprising of cardiologists within the UAE that work under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association.


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