Heart attack is known medically as a myocardial infarcation or MI
Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain - the chest can feel like it is being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak and/or lightheaded
- Overwhelming feeling of anxiety
- Feeling or being sick
Causes of a heart attack
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a condition in which the coronory arteries (the major blood vessels that supply blood to the heart) get clogged up with deposits of cholestrol known as plaques. If a plaque bursts, it can cause a blood clot at the site of the rupture and the clot may then block the supply of blood running through the coronary artery, triggering a 'heart attack'
Risk of developing CHD is increased by:
- A high fat diet
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese
- Lack of exercise
- Ethnic background
- Family history of coronary heart disease
Treating heart attacks
Depending on the severity of the heart attack, you may be offered a surgical procedure known as primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) which will involve widening the coronary artery known as coronary angioplasty.
You may also be offered medication to prevent further clots from forming. Warfarin is not commonly used due to it's slow onset of action but may be offered to selected patients with Atrial Fibrillation or those with major damage to ventricular muscle.