Myocardial infarction is an emergency condition, most often caused by thrombosis of the coronary artery. The risk of death is particularly great in the first 2 hours of its onset. Most often develops in men aged 40 to 60 years. In women, symptoms of heart attack occur about one and a half to two times less.
During myocardial infarction, blood flow to a specific area of the heart is greatly reduced or stopped altogether. At the same time, the affected part of the muscle dies off, that is, its necrosis develops. Cell death begins after 20-40 minutes after the cessation of blood flow.
Myocardial infarction, first aid for which should be provided in the first minutes of symptoms that indicate this condition, can subsequently determine a positive outcome for this disease. Today, this pathology remains one of the main causes of death from cardiovascular diseases.
Causes of myocardial infarction
When myocardial infarction occurs, one of the coronary vessels clogs with a thrombus. This starts the process of irreversible changes in the cells and after 3-6 hours from the start of occlusion, the heart muscle in this area dies.
The disease can occur on the background of coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension, as well as in atherosclerosis. The main reasons contributing to the occurrence of myocardial infarction are: overeating, unhealthy diet, excess animal food, lack of physical activity, hypertension, bad habits.
Depending on the size of the deceased area, a large and small focal infarction is isolated. If necrosis captures the entire thickness of the myocardium, it is called transmural.
Heart attack symptoms
The main symptom of myocardial infarction in men and women is severe chest pain. The pain is so severe that the will of the patient is completely paralyzed. A person has a thought about imminent death.
The first signs of a heart attack:
- Stitching behind the chest is one of the first signs of a heart attack. This pain is very sharp and looks like a knife punch. It may take more than 30 minutes, sometimes for hours. The pain is able to give in the neck, arm, back and shoulder blade area. It can also be not only permanent, but also intermittent.
- Fear of death. This unpleasant feeling is actually not such a bad sign, as it indicates a normal tone of the central nervous system.
- Dyspnea, pallor, fainting. Symptoms occur because the heart is not able to actively push blood to the lungs, where it is saturated with oxygen. The brain tries to compensate for this by sending breathing signals.
- Another important feature of myocardial infarction is the absence of a reduction or cessation of pain at rest or when taking nitroglycerin (even repeated).
Not always the disease manifests itself in such a classic picture. Atypical symptoms of myocardial infarction may be observed, for example, instead of chest pain a person may experience simple discomfort and interruptions in the heart, pain may be absent altogether, but abdominal pain and shortness of breath (dyspnea) may be present - this picture is atypical, it is especially difficult in the diagnosis.
The main differences between pain in myocardial infarction and angina are:
- strong pain intensity;
- duration more than 15 minutes;
- pain does not stop after taking nitroglycerin.
Heart attack symptoms in women
It is in women that the pain during an attack is localized in the upper abdomen, back, neck, jaw. It happens that a heart attack is very similar to heartburn. Very often, a woman first appears weak, nauseous, only after that there is pain. These types of symptoms of myocardial infarction often do not arouse suspicion in women, so there is a risk of ignoring a serious illness.
Symptoms of myocardial infarction in men are closer to the classic set, which allows you to make a diagnosis faster.
Myocardial infarction: first aid
In the presence of these signs, an ambulance should be urgently called, and before its arrival, with a 15-minute interval, take nitroglycerin tablets at a dosage of 0.5 mg, but not more than three times, in order to avoid a sharp pressure drop. Nitroglycerin can be given only at normal indicators of pressure, with low blood pressure it is contraindicated. It is also worth chewing an aspirin pill with a dosage of 150-250 mg.
The patient should be placed in such a way that the upper part of the body is slightly higher than the bottom, which will reduce the load on the heart. Unbuttoning or stripping off tight clothing and ensuring fresh air to avoid choking.
In the absence of pulse, breathing and consciousness of the patient should be laid on the floor and proceed to immediate resuscitation measures, such as artificial respiration and indirect heart massage.
- Should stop smoking. Smokers die from heart attacks twice as often.
- If it turns out that cholesterol is higher than normal, then it is better to limit animal fats, which are abundant in butter, egg yolk, cheese, fat, liver. Prefer fruits and vegetables. Milk and curd must be skimmed. Useful fish, chicken.
- The development of heart attack contributes to high blood pressure. Fighting hypertension, you can prevent a heart attack.
- Excess weight increases the load on the heart - bring it back to normal.
Consequences of myocardial infarction
The consequences of myocardial infarction predominantly occur with extensive and deep (transmural) damage to the heart muscle.
- arrhythmia is the most common complication of myocardial infarction;
- heart failure;
- cardiac aneurysm, interventricular septum rupture;
- recurrent (constantly recurring) pain syndrome occurs in approximately 1/3 of patients with myocardial infarction.
- dressler's syndrome.