What is an Acute Myocardial Infarction, a Heart Attack
An Acute Myocardial Infarction, a heart attack, occurs when there is a severe blockage in an artery that carries oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. The blockage is usually caused by the buildup of plaque (deposits of fat-like substances, or atherosclerosis) along the walls of the arteries.
The sudden lack of blood flow to the heart muscle deprives the heart of needed oxygen and nutrients.
If the blockage is not opened quickly, the heart muscle is likely to suffer serious, permanent damage to areas of tissue die.
The medical term for a heart attack is acute myocardial infarction. Acute means sudden, ‘myo’ refers to muscle, and ‘cardia’ refers to heart. The myocardium is the medical name for the heart muscle. Infarct means that (heart) tissue has been destroyed or killed because of the clogging of the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the heart.
The odds of having a second heart attack are relatively high.
That is why it is important to continue with medical follow-up treatment, participate in cardiac rehabilitation if possible, and make needed lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking and starting an exercise program) to reduce the risk of another heart attack.
If you had an unhealthy lifestyle before your heart attack, it is time to change your ways! Talk to your health professional about diet, weight control, exercise, managing stress, and controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Heart Attacks Are More Dangerous in Winter
People are more likely to die if they have a heart attack in winter than in summer, research suggests.
Once it is clear that a person is having a heart attack, immediate treatment usually includes drugs to help open the blocked artery, which restores blood flow to the heart muscle and prevents clots from forming again.
How Can I Tell if I am Having a Heart Attack?
A heart attack is a frightening event, and you probably don’t want to think about it. But, if you learn the signs of a heart attack and what steps to take, you can save a life–maybe your own.
There are many things you can do to prevent heart disease and stay healthy. You probably already know what they are …
In this section
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