When the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, it shows as a heart attack. Otherwise, referred to as myocardial infarction, heart attack arises due to blockage of the coronary arteries. These are blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to the heart.
As most of us know, a heart attack is a medical emergency. But, we do not know the reason. The reason is when the flow of blood is reduced or blocked the heart muscles will start to damage. In case, the flow of blood is not restored quickly; the muscles will begin to die.
When the blood becomes clogged in an artery, the blood flow to the heart reduces severely or turns out to be entirely cut off. If the arteries are already narrowed due to plaque build-up, it turns out to be a serious issue. People with plaque build-up in their arteries are known to have coronary heart disease.
This is one of the critical risk factors for heart attacks. Plaque is nothing, but a mixture of cholesterol, fat and other such things that gather in the internal lining of the artery walls. It is referred to as hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis. With these words known, let us get into the types of heart attacks:
Types of heart attacks:
By the severity of the attack, a heart attack is classified under any of the following types:
1. STEMI Heart Attack:
STEMI stands for ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. This types of heart attack are the deadliest of other kinds of heart attacks. It is also referred by other names like widowmaker heart attack or massive heart attack. This heart attack happens when there is a complete block in the coronary artery. This means that a large portion of the heart cannot receive the blood and so the death of heart muscles happens quickly in this type of heart attack.
2. NSTEMI Heart Attack:
This typically happens when a coronary artery blocks the flow of blood to the heart. Even though there is a severe restriction of blood flow because of the block, the flow is not entirely restricted. This type is expanded as Non-ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. This type is sometimes referred to as mild or mini heart attack. This type causes a comparatively lesser damage as compared to the STEMI attack.
3. Silent Heart Aattack:
When the heart attack occurs without specific symptoms, it is referred to as silent heart attack. Even though it comes without any signs, this type of heart attack is not free from any damages. In fact, it can cause permanent damage to the muscles of the heart.
With these types of heart attacks known, it is essential to understand what types of treatments are offered. If a doctor suspects a heart attack, he will give the following immediate treatment:
Heart Attack Treatment
In case, a doctor suspects a heart attack in a patient, he/she might be treated immediately with:
- Oxygen therapy
- Nitroglycerin for relieving the pain in chest and also for improving the flow of blood and
- Aspirin for prevention of blood clots
Once the doctor confirms the heart attack, he/she will prescribe medications. Even, if necessary, surgery might be suggested if any blocks in the arteries are to be removed to save the life of a patient.
What Type of Medications is Offered for a Heart Attack Patient?
In general, attacks that are less severe can be treated with medication. The doctor will prescribe medicines for overall health, risk factor and condition of the patient. Some of the drugs include clot busters to dissolve the clots that block the arteries, blood pressure medications to reduce the overload of heart and to control blood pressure. Further, blood thinners might be suggested to prevent blood clots, and statins might be suggested to bring down the LDL cholesterol.