An acute myocardial infarction occurs when a coronary artery is blocked resulting in irreversible death of part of the heart muscle. The infarction occurs in the acute occlusion of a branch of the coronary arteries by the formation of a thrombus usually over a previous coronary lesion.
What causes infarction?
Although the final lesion is the production of a thrombus that occludes the coronary artery, the mechanisms that lead to thrombus formation are the presence of different risk factors that favor its appearance, such as smoking, cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, obesity or a sedentary lifestyle.
Although sometimes an infarction can occur without previous symptoms, in many cases the patient may suffer episodes of chest pain called angina. This pain is typically described by the patient as a tightness in the chest that sometimes radiates to the neck or arms accompanied by general malaise, nausea and sweating. If these symptoms occur, even if of short duration, it is advisable to consult your physician.
How can a heart attack be prevented?
The best way to prevent it is to avoid the recognized cardiovascular risk factors. To do so, it is important not to smoke, to exercise regularly, to lose weight, to maintain an adequate diet, to control cholesterol, hypertension and blood sugar levels.
What is the treatment?
Acute treatment of myocardial infarction is to open the coronary obstruction as quickly as possible. To do this we can perform an angioplasty, which consists of dilating the obstruction with a balloon and then implanting a stent, understood as a kind of spring that keeps the artery open. In cases where we cannot access catheterization and angioplasty with stent implantation, a drug can be administered to try to open the thrombus, the so-called fibrinolytics. In addition, it is recommended that a high dose of aspirin be used quickly to promote this opening.