Myocardial infarction is a dangerous clinical form of coronary heart disease. Due to the lack of blood supply to the heart muscle, necrosis develops in one of its areas (left or right ventricle, apex of the heart, interventricular septum, etc.). A heart attack threatens a person with cardiac arrest, and in order to protect themselves and their loved ones, it is necessary to learn to recognize its signs in time.
The onset of heart attack
In 90% of cases, the onset of myocardial infarction is accompanied by the occurrence of angina pain:
- A person complains of a pressing, burning, stabbing, constricting feeling of pain right behind the sternum or in its left half.
- The pain increases in a short time, may weaken and increase in waves, gives to the arm and scapula, the right side of the chest, neck.
- At rest, the pain does not go away, intake of nitroglycerin or other heart medications most often does not bring relief.
- The characteristic symptoms may be weakness, severe shortness of breath, lack of air, dizziness, increased sweating, a feeling of severe anxiety, fear of death.
- Pulse in myocardial infarction can be either too rare (less than 50 beats per minute) or accelerated (more than 90 beats per minute) or irregular.
An attack of angina usually lasts about 30 minutes, although there are cases when it lasted for several hours. It is followed by a short period without pain and a prolonged painful attack.
4 stages of myocardial infarction
According to the stages of development, a heart attack is divided into an acute, acute, subacute and scarring period. Each of them has its own characteristics of the flow.
Acute Myocardial Infarction Lasts up to 2 hours from the onset of the attack. Severe and prolonged bouts of pain indicate the growth of the center of necrotic lesions.
Acute period of heart attack lasts several days (on average, up to 10). The zone of ischemic necrosis is delimited from healthy myocardial tissue. This process is accompanied by shortness of breath, weakness, an increase in body temperature to 38-39 degrees. It was at this time that the risk of complications of a heart attack or its recurrence is especially great.
In the subacute stage of infarction dead tissue of the myocardium is replaced by the scar. It lasts up to 2 months after the attack. All this time, the patient complains of symptoms of heart failure and high blood pressure. The absence of strokes is a favorable indicator, but if they persist, this increases the risk of recurrent heart attack.
The period of scarring after a heart attack myocardium lasts about six months. The healthy part of the myocardium resumes its effective work, blood pressure and pulse return to normal, the symptoms of heart failure disappear.
What to do before the arrival of the ambulance
From the moment of heart attack to the onset of irreversible events in the heart muscle, it takes about 2 hours. Cardiologists call this time the “therapeutic window”, so if you suspect a heart attack, you should immediately call an ambulance. Before the arrival of doctors should:
- Take a half-sitting position, put a pillow under your back and bend your knees.
- Measure blood pressure. If it is too high, you need to take a pill for pressure.
- Take a nitroglycerin and aspirin tablet. This combination will expand the coronary vessels and make the blood thinner, making the infarction area smaller.
When a heart attack does not need to move, to show any physical activity: it will increase the load on the heart.
Complications of heart attack
Myocardial infarction is dangerous both by itself and by complications that occur at different stages of the disease.
Early complications of heart attack include abnormal heartbeat and conduction, cardiogenic shock, acute heart failure, thromboembolism, pericarditis, myocardial rupture, hypotension, respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.
In the late stages of heart attack, there is a risk of developing chronic heart failure, postinfarction Dressler syndrome, thromboembolism and other complications.