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Myocardial Infarction: Diagnostic and Treatment Case Study

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Updated: Apr 8th, 2022

According to the World Health Organization, approximately seventeen million people die every year as a result of cardiovascular diseases. Out of these diseases, heart attack is the leading killer with astonishing statistics from the United States. The disease claims the lives of more than 0.2 million women every year. Treatment of this heart disorder has become an economic burden, costing more than USD60 million annually. Importantly, myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death in the U.S. (Mayo Clinic Staff 1).

Heart attack is also known as Myocardial Infarction, MI. It mainly occurs as a result of the blockage of the coronary artery, emanating from clot blocks (Kumar and Robbins 352). The coronary artery is a vital blood vessel since it feeds the heart muscle with blood. This implies that any form of blood-flow interruption can be a threat to the survival of the victims. Experts have revealed heart attack occurs when there is an imbalance between the supply and demand of oxygen.

Most cases of heart attack are never recognized since the manifestation of the disease is sometimes considered to be a different infection. As a result, wrong medication might be administered or one may consider seeking medication when it is too late. As one of the leading causes of death in the world, adoption of preventive measures is essential. It has been found out that a healthy lifestyle is key in lowering the chances of suffering from myocardial infarction. This includes regular exercising, eating a balanced diet and keeping stress at bay (Jevon 1).

Although there are several causes of myocardial infarction Atherosclerosis, has been noted as the commonest cause. This refers to a slow process through which small quantities of cholesterol collect in the walls of arteries, affecting the flow of blood to the heart. Deposits of cholesterol are also known to harden the walls of arteries, thus narrowing the lumen, which is important in allowing the flow of blood. Affected arteries may become malfunctioning and unable to supply the body with blood according to its needs (Jevon 15).

For example, when one has infected arteries in the leg, it would be manifested through pain in the legs, resulting from blood-flow interruption. This may also cause leg ulcers or delayed healing of wounds found. An interruption of blood-flow to the brain causes damage of the brain or stroke, arising from instant death of brain tissues.

While atherosclerosis is a major cause of myocardial infarction, it is important to note that it may fail to show signs and symptoms after a very long time. Additionally, symptoms could be manifested in teenage, even through severe health complications occur in adulthood due to narrowing of arteries. It is worth noting that certain factors contribute to the occurrence of atherosclerosis among people with family history of the condition. These include high levels of cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.

These may therefore lead to quick manifestation of the disease (Jevon 5). Coronary atherosclerosis has been known to affect coronary arteries by causing them to become narrow and hard. It is also known as the coronary artery disease. In general, diseases which affect the supply and flow of blood to the heart are referred to as coronary heart diseases, CHD.

Myocardial infarction is manifested through an array of symptoms. Frequent pain in the chest that disappears after some minutes has been associated with this disorder. Additionally, more pain could be experienced in the shoulder, jaws, back or arms. Others include prolonged pain in the upper part of the abdomen, sweating, fainting and nausea.

These symptoms can be observed in men and women. However, heartburn, unusual fatigue, clammy skin and dizziness are commonly manifested in women alone. In analyzing the symptoms of heart attack, it is important to underscore the fact that these manifestations occur in varying degrees (Jevon 27). Most of the heart attacks are not as dramatic as those given media publicity. Importantly, some people do not show any symptom while the presence of many symptoms depicts a higher likelihood of developing the disease.

Myocardial infarction can occur anytime; whether at work, home, while walking or even resting. Even if there are sudden cases of this disease, most people show warning signs before the attack. Angina is considered as the earliest sign of the attack and is triggered by a small decrease in the supply of blood to the heart as required.

It is important to draw a line between myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest. The latter occurs as a result of an electric disturbance in the heart that alters the pumping mechanism, thus terminating the flow of blood to other parts of the body. Heart attack is the leading cause, even though there are other causes of cardiac arrest (Jevon 28).

Professional training is necessary for one to administer heart attack treatment. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is the first step recommended since it allows the supply of oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body (Jevon 85). Chest compressions need to be administered, even from a person who has not been trained in CPR.

Those with skills are allowed to confirm the patient’s airways and apply rescue breaths at an interval of thirty seconds. The mode of treatment depends on the severity of the attack and the level of damage that may have been caused to the heart. From this, the doctor can consider either medication or surgery.

Commonly used drugs include aspirin, thrombolytics and superaspirins (Kumar and Robbins 865). Others are pain relievers, nitroglycerin, beta blockers and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Besides medication, heart attack patients may undergo Coronary angioplasty and stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery (Jevon 45).

The prognosis after a heart attack depends on a wide range of factors including severity of the condition, damage caused to the heart and some measures taken after the attack. Importantly, a heart attack may evolve from being fatal, chronic to full recovery. Moreover, people who may have suffered an attack have a higher risk of developing this disorder. Lastly, heart attack predisposes other heart-complications like stroke, heart valve damage and heart failure among others (Jevon 61).

There are several theories, which describe the relationship between heart attack and dental practice. Oral bacteria, is capable of affecting the functioning of the heart when it gets into the blood. This occurs through attachment to fatty plaques in arteries and forming clots. Additionally, the formation of plaques can be promoted by inflammation, resulting from periodontal disease. It has been found out that patients with periodontal infection have a higher chance of developing myocardial infarction. This relationship is therefore important for dentists as well as specialists in heart treatment.

Works Cited

Jevon, Phil. Angina and Heart Attack. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

Kumar, Vinay, and Robbins Stanley. Basic Pathology. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier, 2007. Print.

Mayo Clinic Staff. Heart Attack. Mayo Clinic, 2012. Web.

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