What is an accute heart attact, how does it arise and what are the effects?
A heart attack is an acute disease. A heart attack occurs when a clot blocks are coronary artery. This happens because of atherosclerosis (long-term lipid deposits building up on artery walls). In such an artery the inner wall is damaged and the artery can burst and as a result, a thrombus emerges and closes a coronary artery.
There is a sudden heart hypoperfusion (an acute ischemia). If the blood flow is not renewed within 20-60 minutes (method of angioplasty), the affected part of the heart can become necrotic. A non-functional scar shows up on this part of the heart.
After suffering a heart attack, a patient can experience heart failure or heart rhythm disorder. The more severe the heart attack and the longer the delay in getting medical attention, the more serious the consequences are. The most common cause of death before an ambulance arrives is a heart arrhythmia which is called a primary chamber fibrillation and can be treated with immediate resuscitation.
Symptoms of an accute heart attack
Typical symptoms of an acute heart attack are often compressive or hot pain around the heart that lasts more than 10 minutes. The pain can shoot into the shoulder, left hand, throat or stomach. Other symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
The patient can lose consciousness – very often based on primary chamber fibrillation.
How can we help?
As soon you notice any symptoms, it is necessary to call an ambulance on 155. The patient should be kept still and as calm as possible. Keep the patient sitting and leaning against something e.g. a wall. Loosen all tight clothing and let them breath normally. If the patient is unconscious make sure they are still breathing. If they have stopped breathing begin resuscitation immediately.
5 steps for correct resuscitation:
If you find a person lying on the street or during an accident, think of your own safety first and check for any potential risks.
Check level of consciousness. Ask the patient their name. Ask a particular person for help, if possible. (‘Sir, you in the red shirt, could you please help me?’)
If the patient does not respond, open the airway, tilt the patient’ head, lift the chin.
Make sure the patient is breathing. Get close to the patient’s mouth and listen to their breath for 10 seconds. If they are not breathing at all or not normally, call an ambulance (155 or 112 in Czech Republic)
Start resuscitation. Start chest compressions. Press down on the centre of the chest (between the nipples when the patient is lying down). The compressions should be 5-6cm deep at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
The patient should be lying on a firm mat. Continue resuscitation until the ambulance arrives, the patient regains consciousness or until you are exhausted.