Heart Attacks

Even though heart attacks isn’t the end of a person’s life, people can still live an active,productive life after a heart attack, because people can live healthier lives and people can go about doing things like before. Thousands of people will die from coronary heart disease each year. This disease will take you by surprise all of a sudden. My uncle, who was 42 nearly died of a heart attack and is very lucky to have survived. Experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath are two main symptoms of heart disease.

There are many reasons people have heart attacks like smoking, eating an unbalanced diet, and living a sedentary lifestyle. Heart attacks can also be inherited genetically. My uncle 42 years of age, almost died of a heart attack. I thought he was too young to have heart disease, but he proved me wrong. Heart attacks can happen to anyone no matter the age. Heart attacks happens as a result of coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease. Coronary heat disease is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.

These arteries supply oxygen rich blood to your heart. When this plaque builds up in the arteries, atherosclerosis then happens. Buildup of plaque occurs over many years. Eventually, an area of plaque can break open inside of an artery. This causes a blood clot to form on the plaque’s surface. If the clot becomes large enough, it can mostly or completely block blood flow going through the coronary artery. If this blockage isn’t treated right away, the portion of heart muscle that is fed by the artery begins to die. Healthy heart tissue is replaced with scar tissue.

This heart damage may not be obvious, or it may cause severe or long-lasting problems. A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm or tightening of the coronary artery. These spasms cuts off blood flow through the artery. Spasms can occur in coronary arteries that aren’t affected by atherosclerosis. Heart attacks can lead to severe health problems, such as heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats.

Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening arrhythmia that can cause death if not HEART ATTACKS3 treated right away. Acting quick at the first sign of heart attack symptoms can save your life or the life of someone you know and limit damage to your heart. Each year, about 1. 2 million people in the United States have heart attacks, and many of them die. Coronary heart disease which often results in heart attacks, is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States. Many more people could survive or recover better from heart attacks if they got help faster.

Of the people who die from heart attacks, about half die within an hour of the first symptoms and before they reach the hospital. (Esselstyn Caldwell, 1995, p. 391). My family has a long history of heart attacks. When the researcher was young he stated about how he started hearing his older family members talk about this disease, and dangerous it was. The researcher always wondered why so many of his family members was either dying or being hospitalized. It never hit him until he was a bit older, that’s when he learned what was really going on with his family members.

When he turned 13, he had a great uncle die from a heart attack a day after leaving therapy. That really shocked him , because he always thought that physical therapy was there to help people recover from an illness. That wasn’t even the worst thing that happened, his wife died a week later from the same type of symptom. That really had him puzzled, because he never seen anyone die that close together. The biggest blow came when his grandfather died from a heart attack on Thanksgiving Day. It really hurted him because the family was all gathering at his house.

They were about to eat, then all of a sudden the researchers grandfather started grabbing his chest and started wheezing for air. The researcher was just shocked to actually see someone having a heart attack in front of him, it was really a wake-up call to him and his family. That’s when he decided enough was enough, and he was tired of losing all of his family members to heart attacks. The researcher started looking into facts about heart attacks and the ways of preventing them from happening. In his opinion, he thought that reducing the risk of heart attacks was a very Heart Attacks4.

important factor in living a long joyful life. Having a longer life is better than a shorter life. He worked on his research for about two weeks and it was definitely a new step for him. Never before have he pictured himself working on such a major paper and doing this much reading and writing. He started off his research by forming a research question and then by sharing his research question and topic with his friends and family. The researcher’s family and friends helped him out a lot, because when he first started his research he was completely confused and unorganized about what he was doing.

The researcher soon got on track and started writing and learning. He learned that many people who survived a heart attack regretted that they didn’t take the time to take care of their bodies. By the time people find out about their illness, it will most likely be too late. The researcher desperately tried to get his family to begin a healthy diet like him, so the risk of heart attacks wouldn’t be so high. At first they thought it was too hard to follow the steps to be healthy, because they didn’t want to make sacrifices. He tried to educate them about the importance of watching what they eat.

He hoped they would realize how important their existence was to him, other then that we wouldn’t have cared so much. These were real hardcore facts that they really needed to know. The researcher read many different articles to try and help him to understand how the human body works. One article that he read taught him that the environment won’t let people live without eating unhealthy foods. One of the main problems that affect many of his family members is that a lot of them smoke. Smoking causes lung cancer and strokes which leads to heart attacks.

He tried to encourage many of his family members not to smoke for their benefits. After the researcher spent much valuable time on his research, he can now say that there are a lot of risk factors out there today that causes heart attacks that go unnoticed. The researcher thought that if people just put a little effort everyday into a few simple things like exercising, eating right, and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle they would be more then fine in the near future.

This must also include regular visits to their doctors, staying away from smoking, Heart Attacks5 drinking, and relaxing to much. He also learned that people should never wait until the last minute to pursue their goals. They should try to reduce another American from getting affected from this tragically death threatening disease. There are many ways of treating a heart attack. One way is to have an EKG. EKG is a simple, painless test that detects and records the heart’s electrical activity. This test shows how fast the heart is beating and its rhythm of the beats. An EKG also records the strength and timing of electrical signals as they passes through each part of the heart.

An EKG can show signs of heart damage due to coronary heart disease and signs of a previous or current heart attack. Another way is having a blood test done. During a heart attack, heart muscle cells die and release proteins into the bloodstream. A blood tests can measure the amount of these proteins that was released in the bloodstream. Higher than normal levels of these proteins may clearly suggest a heart attack is occurring. Commonly used blood tests include troponin tests, CK or CK–MB tests, and serum myoglobin tests. Blood tests often are repeated to check for changes over time.

A coronary angiography is a test that uses dye and special x rays to show the insides of your coronary arteries. These tests often is done while having a heart attack to help find the blockages in the coronary arteries. In order to get the dye into your coronary arteries, your doctor will use a procedure called cardiac catheterization. They insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, which is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin , or your neck. The tube then is threaded into your coronary arteries, and the dye is then released into your bloodstream.

Special x rays are taken while the dye is flowing through the coronary arteries. The dye lets your doctor study the flow of blood through the heart and blood vessels. If he finds a blockage, he or she may then recommend that you have a procedure called angioplasty. This procedure can help restore blood flow through your blocked arteries. Sometimes a small mesh tube called a stent is placed in the artery to help prevent blockages after the procedure. Early treatment for a heart attack can prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle. Heart Attacks6 Quick acting, at the first sign of a heart attack, can save your life.

Medical personnel can begin diagnosis and treatment even before you get to the hospital. Most treatments usually are started right away if a heart attack is suspected, even before the diagnosis is confirmed. These treatments include: Oxygen therapy, Aspirin, which is used to thin your blood and prevent further blood clotting, or Nitroglycerin which is used to reduce your heart’s workload and improve blood flow through the coronary arteries. Once the diagnosis of a heart attack is confirmed , doctors start treatments to try to promptly restore blood flow to the heart.

The two main treatments are “clot-busting” medicines and angioplasty, a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries. Thrombolytic medicines, also called “clot busters,” are used to dissolve blood clots that are blocking the coronary arteries. These medicines work best when given within several hours of the start of heart attack symptoms. Angioplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or sometimes narrowed coronary arteries. A thin, flexible tube with a balloon or other device on the end is inserted through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery.

Once in place, the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque build-up against the wall of the artery. This restores blood flow through the artery. (Siegel,Block,2008) The researcher’s findings was very interesting in the books that he read about life after heart attacks. A few years ago it might have sounded impossible telling a victim of a heart attack that there is life after this for them, but today it’s a reality. You can live a full, active life after a heart attack if you follow your Cardiologists advise to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, not smoking, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking, and relaxing.

These simple things can change your life for the best and the earlier you start accomplishing these goals the easier it will be for you in the future. So if you have time just go out to the gym and spend some quality time exercising. The next time you go t a fast food restaurant you will remember what happened to the researcher’s uncle at the age of 43. Heart Attacks7 In conclusion, doing this research took more time that I could have ever imagined because I thought we had a week or so. I learned how to be more organized, how to spend my time more realistically, and how to write longer reports.

I learned how to do all this things in the last two months and I’m working as hard as I can to keep up with them when I do some other related work. In addition to learning a lot about heart attack I have learned what my family and I have to do to prevent heart attacks from occurring ever again in my family. Can I be sure that nobody will have a heart attack in my family? No, but I know that we should do our best to reduce the risk heart attacks, and make sure that another family member won’t suffer the same fate as the researcher’s uncle did and that’s all that really matters.

HEART ATTACKS8 References 1. Esselstyn,C. B. (1995). Prevent and reverse Heart Disease: You can prevent & reverse heart disease. 380-405 2. Kreyche,G. F(2004). Preventive Medicine: Medical Treatment. Society for Advancement of education,133(2710). 75-89 3. Anonymous. (2005). Wellness programs: Exercise. American Physical Therapy Association. 13(3). 60-71 4. Siegel,R. ,Block,M. (2008). Detecting and Preventing Heart Attacks: Literature resource Center. 20(135). 85-102 5. Lilly,E. (2008). Life After Heart Attacks:Active Living. Newswire Association LLC. 36(5) 101-127.

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