What is Heart Attack ??
Genesis, Diagnosis, Treatment &
A Divine Heart Foundation (India)
Community Service Initiative
A. It is a campaign launched by Divine Heart Foundation(India), a registered charitable society to create awareness inthe society regarding the healthy heart. This booklet containsthe information regarding the genesis, diagnosis, treatment andprevention of heart attack.
Q. Why an awareness program is needed for me?
A. Today heart attack and coronary artery disease is not adisease of western world and older generation only; it is slowlyand steadily affecting the younger people of India as well asof other developing countries. It has been found that anawareness program can save lives of people who developheart attack. It helps them in taking quick decisions in seekingprompt medical attention to prevent further heart damage.
A. Heart is a hollow muscular organ, equal to the size of ourfeast, situated in the middle of the chest inclined towards leftside. It pumps 5-6 liters of blood containing oxygen andnutrients every minute for 24 hours and the rest of our life.
Q. How does the heart work and what are coronary arteries?
A. The heart has four chambers that are connected in seriesthrough lungs. Right sided chambers receive impure blood(without oxygen) from the entire body and pumps in the lungswhere it comes in contact with oxygen from the breath andget oxygenated (pure blood). It is brought to the left side ofheart chamber particularly in the left ventricle, which pumps
blood to whole body through arteries. The first two arteries
that originate from aorta supply blood and oxygen to
the heart are called “Coronary arteries”.
A. Heart Attack is a life threatening condition that occurs whenthe blood flow in either of coronary artery is abruptly blockedby blood clot over already existing fatty deposits leading todeath of a portion of heart muscle. Most of damage startswithin first 2-3 hours of onset of symptoms in absence ofproper treatment.
A. The walls of coronary arteries get thickened, rigid andnarrowed due to fatty deposition called atherosclerosis whichforms plaque (elevation) within the arteries. When plaqueruptures, it produces certain chemicals that initiate clotformation, which block the blood flow in the artery leading toheart attack.
A. When the blood flow across the narrow coronary arteries
is reduced heart is deprived of oxygen and nutrients and cry
for more blood for its ongoing activity is called angina. Angina
literally means “crying of dying muscle”.
In angina there is
basically a discomfort or heaviness in the chest and may radiate
to left arms or lower jaw. It develops during physical exertion
or emotional stress or even at rest. It lasts for few minutes
and goes away with rest or with a tablet of sorbitrate.
Q. What are the symptoms of heart attack?
A. In heart attack patient develops severe chest pain,excruciating, bursting, crushing or squeezing in nature. Itfrequently radiates into the left arm or to the neck and jaw.
The pain lasts for several minutes even more than 15 minutesassociated with intense sweating even in winter season, profusevomiting and shortness of breath. It does not get relief withrest or with “sorbitrate”. The pain is so intense that the personfeels that he is loosing his life.
Q. What is difference between a heart attack and angina?
A. Heart attack means that a portion of heart muscle has beenstarved of oxygen and is being damaged or has been damagedwhereas in angina heart muscle is not yet damaged.
Q. What should I do when I see someone with heart attack?
A. Transport him to the nearest hospital where there an ECGfacility is available and specialist doctor may start immediatetreatment. One should not wait for ambulance and whatevermode of transport is available, patient should reach hospitalwith in 2 to 3 hours of onset of symptoms.
A. Heart attack is an emergency condition. On reachinghospital doctor immediately gives you a tablet of Aspirin tochew. This helps as anti-clotting effect. An Electrocardiogram(ECG) is immediately done to establish the diagnosis. Oncedefinite diagnosis of heart attack is made, then, you areadmitted in coronary care unit (CCU) for observation and
further treatment. You are given medicines to control chestpain and anxiety. In addition, you may be given clot bustingdrugs to break clot from coronary artery to establish bloodflow. If necessary, oxygen is given through a mask to maintainadequate oxygen level in your body. Blood is sent for estimationof cardiac enzymes.
Q. What other confirmatory tests are performed to ascertainthe extent of heart damage.
A. Echocardiography: It is a non-invasive test that may beperformed at bed side while you are recovering in CCU toascertain the function of heart. It depicts the contraction ofheart as affected segment will contract less vigorously ascompared to the normal.
Nuclear scan is also a non invasive test that differentiatesbetween damaged heart and healthy heart.
Coronary angiography is the final test which is an invasive testthat confirms the number, site, extent and severity of blockade.
Q. When my coronary arteries are blocked, what options areleft to me?
A. Ideal treatment is to establish blood flow across the blockedartery. They are Coronary Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting(PTCA) and Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG).
Q. What are the risk factors for heart attack?
A. They are: High Blood pressure>140/80 mm of Hg, HighBlood Cholesterol > 200 mg/dl, Diabetes Fasting Blood Sugar>120 mg/dl, Smoking > 10 Cigarette per day, Overweight
and obesity > 10% of required weight, Family history of heartdisease, Physical inactivity, Mental stress and presence ofpreexisting coronary heart disease.
Q. Why does a delay in treatment happen?A. Delay in seeking assistance primarily involves educationand awareness of recognizing the symptoms. Patient/ familymembers must perceive the symptoms, recognize theirpossible significance and conclude that medical help is urgentlyneeded. It is interesting however that the length of time patienttake to get medical help is not dependent on educational level,occupation, socioeconomic class or past history of coronaryheart disease.
Q. How one can prevent the occurrence of heart attack?
A. Risk factors must be vigorously controlled. In
presence of already existing coronary artery blockade
one must consult heart specialist for further treatment.
Q. What happens to my heart after heart attack?
A. After heart attack damaged heart muscle is replaced
with scar tissue that does not take part in heart
contraction. Therefore heart function deteriorates
depending upon the size of infarction. Larger the area
of heart damage poorer the heart function.
Q. How productive is life after heart attack?
A. Quality of life after heart attack depends upon the
extent of heart damage. If heart function is preserved
and is near normal then one may pass life normally like
other with support of some medicines. However, if heart
damage had been large leading to reduced heart function
to below 30% then one may feel breathlessness and
reduced working capacity. In that case modified life
protocol and vigorous medical assistance may be
Q. What is essence of life?
A. To inculcate a sense of togetherness in life. Love all.
Success and failure to be accepted as God’s wish.
Divine Heart Foundation (India), a non governmental and nonprofitable organization was established in 1996 as a registeredCharitable Society by Dr (Prof.) A. K. Srivastava, formerhead of department of Cardiac Surgery at Sanjay GandhiPostgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences at Lucknow. Theaim and objective of Foundation was to create awareness inthe society regarding the healthy heart.
Divine Heart & Multispecialty Hospital is an associate hospitalof Divine Heart Foundation India was established in 2003.
To provide cost effective treatment for patients suffering fromheart disease, heart hospital was commissioned with 25 bedsin a rented premise in Gomti Nagar. And over a period ofthree years in 2006, Foundation acquired 2 acres of land in aposse locality of Gomti Nagar and built an ultramodern 100beds hospital with help of financial contribution from public
and bank. This new hospital complex was inaugurated bythen the President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Thehospital envisages latest technology equipments, doctorsof national and international repute, along with all associatedservices like diagnostics, blood bank, round the clockchemist and emergency services.
Divine Heart & Multispecialty Hospital offers highest qualityof dedicated service in cardiac interventions and surgeryincluding coronary angiography, angioplasty and stenting,bypass surgery on beating heart and on conventionalmethod, heart valve surgery, pacing and correction of birthdefects in children.
You can become ‘Save Heart Save Life’ Lifetime
Member and avail privileged services at Divine
Heart & Multispecialty Hospital @ Rs.250/- per head
For Registration & Details Contact:
Divine Heart & Multispecialty Hospital
Viraj Khand-5, Gomti Nagar,
Tel: +91 522 2721991/92/93/95
Fax: +91 522 2721994 Mob: 9721453171/72
For Cardiac Ambulance & Emergency Call
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