Alternate Names : Myocardial Infarction, MI
What are the treatments for the condition?
The sooner treatment
begins, the better the chance the person will survive. Taking an aspirin as early as possible
after the onset of pain is very important. Aspirin acts as a blood thinner.
This helps get oxygen-rich blood to the oxygen-deprived heart muscle.
Other blood thinners are used once the person arrives in an emergency department. Some blood thinners are very
powerful. They dissolve the clot that is blocking the
artery and causing the heart attack.
Oxygen will be given to reduce damage to the heart tissue. A medicine
known as nitroglycerin is given to decrease the work of the heart.
Morphine may be given as well to reduce pain and decrease
the work the heart has to do.
A person who has had a heart attack often undergoes a procedure known as a
cardiac catheterization or cardiac
angiogram. A contrast agent is injected into the coronary
arteries. Using an X-ray procedure, the doctor can watch the blood flow through
the heart and see if a
blockage has occurred.
Some blockages in the coronary arteries can be opened using a special catheter
with a balloon on the end. This balloon is inserted through the narrowed artery
and inflated to open the artery and allow blood to flow. This procedure is
called balloon angioplasty. If the
artery will not stay open, a stent, or hollow tube, can be inserted to hold the
The cardiac catheterization may show blockage in many arteries. If this is the
case, heart bypass surgery may be necessary. A blood vessel from another part of the body
is grafted onto the coronary artery. The graft provides a new
route for blood to get to the heart muscle.
After recovery from the acute phase of the heart attack, the person
may be enrolled in a cardiac
rehabilitation program. This gradual exercise program will help the
person safely resume a healthy lifestyle.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Side effects of medicines can include
headache, dizziness, allergic reactions, and upset stomach.
Blood-thinning medicines may increase the risk of bleeding and hemorrhage. Heart bypass surgery can cause
bleeding, infection, allergic
to anesthesia, and death.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
After the initial emergency treatment of a heart attack, any underlying disorders will be treated. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol,
diabetes, smoking, and
How is the condition monitored?
The person will need to visit the
healthcare provider regularly so medicines can be adjusted. The
provider will monitor blood pressure, weight, and other major factors. Regular stress EKGs may be done to make sure there is proper blood flow to the heart. Any new or worsening symptoms
should be reported to the healthcare provider.