Fighting Heart Attack in the 21st Century
A heart attack, or what is known as the myocardial infarction in the medical world, takes place when the flow of blood in a person’s heart is blocked with a clot, fat or cholesterol. Once the blood flow is interrupted, the heart muscle becomes damaged due to the lack of oxygen reaching it. What actually happens is that the cells in the heart muscle starts to die due to oxygen starvation. Although heart attack is one of the most common heart diseases and can sometimes be fatal, many people now survive this disease and get to return to active lives again.
Dr. Richard Lee of Harvard Heart Letter said in one of his papers that, during the 1970s, 40% of heart attack victims die from the attack or from further complications. Today, that percentage has been greatly reduced to around 10%. This significant change is attributed to the fact that there have been a number of advances made in drug therapy as well as effective public campaigns and higher awareness. The medical procedure called angioplasty has also gone radical changes that allowed it to better save lives. Of course, it also helps that more and more people have now become aware of the different first aid techniques that they can use while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
In this time of modern technology and studies, the medical world was able to produce advanced drugs for treating blood-clod in the heart like streptokinase. Drugs like beta blockers and statins have also been shown to protect the heart after a heart attack. This was made apparent after using the said medication in a number of clinical trials.
Information and education campaigns have also made people more aware when it comes to the symptoms and signs not only of heart attack but also of other cardiovascular diseases. Knowing the classical symptoms like severe chest pain and profuse sweating can make people take action right away. Doctors also tend to include in their public campaigns the non-classical symptoms that usually happen to women including nausea, vomiting and shoulder pains.
Once a person feels the symptoms and a doctor confirms the situation, a procedure called angioplasty can be performed right away. This is the process of opening the blocked artery, thus restoring the blood flow. Though this procedure has become available in the 90s, not all hospitals have the equipment to perform angioplasty. Today, a lot of hospitals are now capable with this life-saving procedure along with the other wonders that technology brought to science.
Now, if you or someone you know is at risk for a heart attack, it would be to your advantage to have an AED unit on hand, or at least to learn about how to properly administer, at the very least, chest compression. Citywide CPR is one of the institutions that you can go to if you would like to know how to work your way around an AED unit as well as how to properly conduct a CPR.