What is a Heart Attack?
Myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, is the condition when a part of the
heart doesn’t receive an adequate supply of blood. The need for oxygen-rich blood to reach the
heart and to flow through all the organs of the body properly is highly essential for a human
While ‘cardial’ refers to the heart, ‘myo’ depicts muscles, and infarction is basically when tissue
dies due to a lack of blood supply. When there is lack of blood supply, the tissue is unable to
get enough oxygen which is needed for it to function.
The flow of blood can get blocked due to various reasons, the biggest one of them being the
buildup of plaque on the walls of arteries that are responsible for the proper flow of blood rich
with oxygen. Plaque can get ruptured and the harmful substances included in it can get mixed
into the blood that is supposed to carry oxygen. When a plaque ruptures, it forms a clot.. When
a clot is large enough to block the flow of blood in the coronary arteries, it leads to a heart
attack, among other complications.
The coronary artery can be blocked partially or fully, that is, non-ST elevation myocardial
infarction or ST elevation myocardial infarction respectively. A spasm in the artery can also lead
to the same as it blocks the blood flow to that particular part of the heart muscle.
Some people are more prone to suffering through a heart attack than others due to various
reasons that include men above the age of 45, women above the age of 55, tobacco
consumption, high blood pressure levels, high ‘bad’ cholesterol, low ‘good’ cholesterol, family
history of heart attacks, little or no physical activity, diabetes, stress, drug abuse, an
autoimmune condition, etc.
It takes decades for plaque to be formed on the walls of the arteries and this creates the lack of
obvious symptoms of what becomes the biggest cause of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart
attack are as follows:
• Discomfort, heaviness, uneasiness, etc. in the chest, arm, or near the breastbone
• Tightness and discomfort in jaw, throat, and/or arm
• Feeling of burning, indigestion, and choking
• Stomach problems, unnecessary sweating, and vomiting
• Uneven heartbeat, excessive weakness, anxiety, shortness of breath, etc.
Symptoms of a heart attack in women are slightly different and can include:
• Discomfort in the gut, feeling of indigestion
• Discomfort in the neck and/or shoulder
• Nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc.
A heart attack can lead to various complications including some that are fatal, likearrhythmia,
abnormal rhythm of the heart due to ‘electrical short circuits’.
Another is heart failureatemporary condition of heart failure isn’t as dangerous as the
permanent one, which can be deathly. It happens when the heart attack has damaged the heart
to an extent that the remaining ‘functioning’ parts of the heart muscle are unable to aid the
flow of blood flawlessly.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the most dangerous one of the complications as the lack of immediate
treatment often leads to death. The electrical disturbance caused by the heart attack
sometimes leads to the stoppage of the heart and causes arrhythmia.
Build up of plaque happens slowly and gradually, and that means that small changes and
sudden medications can’t necessarily prevent a heart attack. Although, if your family has a
history of heart attacks or you fall in any of the categories discussed in the causes above,
medications might be the best option for you. Some people who are at high risk of having a
heart attack due to various reasons are given continuous medication to prevent a serious heart
Following things help ensuring a healthy lifestyle:
• Diet: Avoiding processed foods, including veggies in your daily diet, cutting down on
‘bad’ fats, eating a balanced meal, etc. are some of the things that keep the human body
• Exercise: Physical activity is by far the most important thing for a healthy heart. Keeping
the body moving and exercising for an adequate amount of time keeps the body
running, the mind happy, and the heart pumping.
At Winbri life sciences, you can avail consultation on preventative measures and suitable
life style changes, from the comfort of your heart and at free cost.
Diagnostic Test: Role of ECG in diagnosis
A heart attack can be diagnosed by the following tests:
EKG: Electrocardiogram or ECG is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart to
mark where the heart muscle has been damaged. It records the heart rate as well as the rhythm
in order to check the functioning of the heart.
Blood tests: A series of blood tests can help in diagnosing a heart attack. The level of the cardiac
enzymes in the blood gives an idea on how much the heart muscle has been damaged. When
cells are damaged due to a lack of oxygen-rich blood, they release a protein named troponin,
whose level of presence in the blood can also diagnose a heart attack.
Various other tests such as echocardiography (ultrasound test), cardiac catheterization
(identifying blockages in the heart by inserting a hollow tube), etc. are beneficial in diagnosing a
At Winbri life sciences you can avail ECG services at affordable rates, with the best of
consultation and guidance provided by experts.
Guidance for treatment
A heart attack can be treated by medications when the condition isn’t very severe. In extreme
cases, only surgery can help the situation. Drug therapy prevents more clotting, stopping the
platelets from sticking to the plaque, and eases the strain on the heart, and needs to be given
to the patient within an hour or two of the heart attack.
Some procedures are also performed to treat a heart attack in addition to the medications such
• Balloon angioplasty: This treatment is done during cardiac catheterization. A thin and
hollow tube is used to open the blockage in the arteries and to improve the flow of
oxygen-rich blood in the heart.
• Stent placement: This procedure is undertaken to ‘prop open’ the blocked artery using a
catheter. A metal stent is placed in the heart permanently to prevent the blockage of
coronary arteries in the future.
Coronary Artery Disease