Heart attack prevention and treatment

Heart attack prevention and treatment

heart attack  can be prevented with simple measures. If a heart attack does occur, there are various complications and treatment options. We explain what preventive measures, what types of therapy and what possible complications exist in the event of a heart attack.

Complications of a heart attack

In the  acute stage  of a heart attack, the following complications can occur:

  • Death from cardiovascular failure or malignant arrhythmias
  • circulatory shock
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • heart valve damage
  • cardiac septum defect
  • bleeding into the pericardium
  • embolize

After a heart attack  may occur:

Treatment of an acute myocardial infarction

The aim of treating acute heart attacks is to relieve the already damaged heart muscle, limit the extent of the heart attack, ensure blood flow to the heart muscle, prevent secondary complications and ideally reopen the closed heart attack vessel at an early stage. The following treatment options are available individually or in combination:

  • Blood thinning therapy with  heparin  and aspirin
  • Administration of a beta-blocker to relieve the heart muscle
  • Drugs to lower blood pressure
  • Painkiller
  • tranquilizers
  • Drugs or electroshock therapy for arrhythmias
  • Diuretic drugs in heart failure
  • Oxygen administration in case of oxygen deficiency
  • Artificial respiration in case of insufficient self-respiration
  • Circulatory stabilizing drugs in circulatory shock

Lysis therapy and cardiac catheterization

A reopening of the closed infarct vessel can be achieved either by  lysis therapy  or  balloon dilatation  as part of the heart catheter examination. In lysis therapy, a substance is administered through a vein that is able to dissolve blood clots in the coronary arteries.

However, lysis therapy can activate latent sources of bleeding in the body, such as in the brain, on the retina or in the  gastrointestinal tract , and lead to life-threatening bleeding. In addition, the local effectiveness of the lysis therapy on the infarct vessel cannot be checked directly.

In contrast to this, the  heart catheter examination enables  a direct representation of the coronary arteries and their constrictions in general, as well as the vascular occlusion that triggers the infarction in particular. With modern balloon catheters, an attempt can be made in the same session to reopen the blocked coronary artery and thus normalize the blood flow.

Therapy after a heart attack

Unfortunately, this balloon dilatation is not always successful either, and the procedure is also associated with other risks that must be weighed against the risk of a wait-and-see strategy in each individual case. In addition, not all hospitals have the technical equipment and the professional know-how to be able to offer heart catheter examinations. The principle applies to both lysis therapy and the heart catheter procedure: the earlier treatment begins for a heart attack, the greater the chances of limiting the damage.

The choice of the appropriate procedure and the right time in the course of a heart attack are the subject of intensive scientific research. Long-term treatment  is just as important as acute therapy  . After surviving a heart attack, the basic problem of the disease, the calcification of the coronary arteries, is not resolved.

In order to reduce the risk of another heart attack, the individual risk factors must be checked,  consistent drug therapy  and, if necessary, renewed heart catheter examinations with balloon dilatation of vessels that are still narrowed or a bypass operation.

In a  bypass operation  , the heart surgeon sews veins from the patient’s lower legs as vascular bridges over the narrowed coronary arteries as part of a major open-heart operation, thereby partially normalizing the blood flow again.

preventive measures

Myocardial infarction is the most serious complication of coronary artery disease. It is therefore of central importance to raise awareness among all people who are burdened with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases about the  measures and behaviors  they can take to prevent vascular diseases and heart attacks. In detail, this means for prevention:

  • Weight regulation in  overweight
  • Nicotine and alcohol abstinence
  • treatment of high blood pressure
  • Medication and diet for  diabetes , dyslipidemia or  gout
  • Regular physical training
  • Reduction of psychological stress factors

Even if compliance with these preventive measures, especially in the case of genetic stress, cannot always protect against vascular diseases and heart attacks, in most cases the course of the disease and the frequency of heart attacks are still positively influenced.

After a heart attack, a patient should have regular check  -ups with a doctor , even without symptoms  . Stress tests such as a stress ECG, stress ultrasound examination or thallium scintigraphy can identify latent problems in the coronary arteries or an impending heart attack and countermeasures can be taken at an early stage.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *