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Heart Attack

Description

A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) will cause severe chest pains behind the breast bone, often radiating towards the left arm. The area of muscle to which there is insufficient supply stops working properly if the clot is not dissolved.

There are a number of risk factors associated with the development of coronary thrombosis. These are:
A family history of Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
A high content of cholesterol in the blood
High blood pressure
Smoking
Being male
Diabetes type I or type II
Being overweight
Stress
Lack of exercise

If severe chest pains or any of the other symptoms mentioned happen, then it could be a coronary thrombosis. If you are already suffering from angina and the glyceryl trinitrate does not seem adequate then it might be a danger signal. If this happens you should call an ambulance immediately. If possible, you should take an aspirin tablet (300mg strength) while waiting for the ambulance.

A series of blood samples will also be taken to find out if there has been an injury to the heart and to determine the extent of the injury. Drugs will be given to dissolve the blood clot.

It is important to receive treatment as soon as possible after the symptoms begin. The earlier it is given, the better the result.

After a coronary thrombosis, aspirin is often prescribed as it thins the blood to prevent further coronary events. This would be taken in a small daily dose for the rest of the patient's life.

To prevent further attacks, you should:
Stop smoking. It is vital that a person who has suffered a myocardial infarction gives up smoking.
Take regular exercise, twenty minutes of walking or cycling three times a week will significantly reduce raised cholesterol and lessen cardiovascular risk.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. A diet rich in chicken and oily fish with fruits and vegetables should be eaten. Red meat consumption should be reduced and foods should be grilled not fried.
Many medicines are used to prevent and treat heart attacks. It is important that you do not stop taking these medications even if you feel well.

Our Advice
  • Eating a varied healthy diet.
  • Lose weight if overweight.
  • Taking regular exercise.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Our Pharmacist can provide lifestyle advice to help minimise the risk of coronary thrombosis and any medication you may be taking to prevent or as the result of a heart attack.