• Myocardial Infarction Heart Attack

  • A heart attack is a life-threatening emergency in which minutes can mean the difference between life and death.It is the leading cause of death in the U.S., however, up to 95% of patients hospitalized due to a heart attack survives. Castle Rock Adventist Hospital is more than 30 minutes faster than the national standard for heart attack intervention.

    Myocardial Infarction (MI)

    Myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to the heart has been blocked and prevents oxygen from reaching the heart. A mild form of myocardial infarction is called acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

    An ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a type of heart attack that takes place when the coronary artery is completely blocked off by a blood clot. While the signs and symptoms are similar to a non-STEMI, a STEMI is more severe with a larger portion of the heart already in danger of damage or death.

    What are the Causes of a Heart Attack?

    A heart attack is often caused by a blood clot in one of the coronary arteries, which slows or stops the amount of blood and oxygen to the heart. When the blood flow to the heart is blocked, the cells in the heart begin to die.

    A second cause of a heart attack is a condition referred to as atherosclerosis, when plaque builds up in the walls of the coronary arteries. A heart attack may be induced by sudden, significant emotional or physical stress.

    Other contributing factors of a heart attack may include:

    • Increasing age
    • Male gender
    • Diabetes
    • Family history of coronary artery disease 
    • High blood pressure
    • Smoking
    • A high-fat diet
    • Unhealthy levels of cholesterol, especially high LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol
    • Chronic kidney disease

    What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

    Symptoms of a heart attack are often slow to progress and may even come and go. It is important to recognize them and seek medical attention immediately. Men and women experience different symptoms of a heart attack.

    If any of the above symptoms are present, it is important to call 911 immediately. Every minute counts. Giving symptoms five minutes to subside may be too long to wait if you are experiencing an actual heart attack. Dialing 9-1-1 is the fastest way to receive medical attention, as an EMS team is prepared to care for a patient experiencing heart failure and has lifesaving equipment on board. A patient riding in an ambulance will receive medical care up to one hour before a patient riding in a car to the hospital.

    How Can a Heart Attack be Prevented?

    While a heart attack may not always be stopped, there are ways to assist in preventing one.

    • Maintain a healthy level in blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol
    • Do not smoke
    • Limit alcoholic intake to one or two glasses each day
    • Eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables
    • Eat fish twice a week
    • Exercise daily or several times a week
    • Manage the appropriate body mass index (BMI)

    Exams and Tests

    A heart attack is a serious condition. If symptoms of a heart attack are experienced, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

    Tests a physician can provide to examine the heart include:

    • Coronary angiography
    • CT scan
    • Echocardiography
    • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
    • MRI
    • Nuclear ventriculography
    • There are also blood tests that can be given:
    • Troponin I and Troponin T
    • CPK and CPK-MB
    • Serum myoglobin

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