What happens after a heart attack? What is the definition of a heart attack? what not to do after a heart attack?

What is the definition of a heart attack?

When one of your coronary arteries — the blood vessels that provide blood to your heart – becomes clogged, you have a heart attack.

heart attack

This is mainly caused by coronary heart disease, which is characterized by the buildup of a fatty material (plaque) in the coronary arteries. This narrows the artery and inhibits blood flow, and it can lead to a blood clot blocking the artery altogether.
The heart muscle can be severely injured if not enough blood and oxygen reach it, resulting in a heart attack.

How do you know if you’re having a heart attack?

Chest pain that doesn’t go away, which can feel like pressure, tightness, or squeezing, is the most prevalent indicator of a heart attack. This sensation usually begins in the center of your chest and spreads to your neck, chin, ears, arms, and wrists. Although this is the most prevalent symptom, it does not affect everyone.

*Other symptoms that could mean you’re suffering a heart attack include:
Neck, jaw, or back pain, as well as pain in the left arm or both arms
Being or feeling ill
Feeling clammy and sweaty
Looking very pale and grey
I’m feeling a little under the weather and a little worried.
Anxiety or restlessness
Shortness of breath and dizziness

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack differ greatly between men and women. Women are more likely than males to have symptoms other than chest pain, and they are slightly less likely to experience chest discomfort. Women are also more prone than males to believe that their symptoms are minor.
If you – or someone you know – exhibits one or more symptoms of a heart attack, dial 999 immediately.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack and how can you know if you’re having one?
Medical personnel will conduct tests to determine whether or not you have suffered a heart attack. Blood tests to determine the level of particular proteins in your blood and an ECG (electrocardiogram) to determine the extent of damage to your heart muscle and where the damage is located are examples of these tests.

These tests should be completed as quickly as possible so that you can obtain the best therapy available for your situation. It’s critical to treat a heart attack as soon as possible in order to restore blood flow to the afflicted area of the heart and limit the amount of damage to your heart muscle.
The most prevalent types of treatment are as follows:

First and foremost (or emergency) angioplasty — a balloon is used to stretch the narrowed sections of the artery, and a stent is placed to keep the artery open.
Clot-busting drug called thrombolysis helps break blood clots that are obstructing your arteries.
A thrombus or obstruction in your artery is removed during a thrombectomy.

What happens when a person has a heart attack?

Following a heart attack, you will most likely be admitted to the hospital for 3-5 days to allow your condition to be stabilized and monitored.
Some people suffer secondary health problems as a result of their heart attack, such as:

Blood sugar levels that are too high to be treated with insulin
Arrythmias are irregular heartbeats that can be treated with a pacemaker if they are severe enough to be life-threatening.
Angina is a type of chest pain produced by a lack of blood supply to the heart muscle.
When your heart muscle is damaged to the point where it can no longer pump enough blood to completely nourish your body, you have heart failure.
High blood pressure can be controlled with medicine and a healthy diet.

Most people’s hearts will return to normal after a few days. The risk of a second heart attack decreases, and intensive surveillance can be reduced. When it is safe for you to return home from the hospital, your doctor will advise you.

After a heart attack, it’s common to feel exhausted, stressed, and anxious. During the first few days, you may find that you don’t remember much of what the physicians and nurses told you. Don’t be hesitant to ask staff questions. It can also be beneficial to speak with your family about what has been going on. Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will talk to you about any drugs you might need and provide you with information about local support programs, such as cardiac rehabilitation.

Getting back on your feet after a heart attack

As you begin your recuperation at home, it’s typical to feel frightened, scared, frustrated, or alienated. Depending on how you feel, try to have someone with you at home for the first few days or weeks. Alternatively, arrange to spend a few days with friends or relatives.

When you first return home, try to relax and rest as much as possible. Avoid engaging in any activities that cause you to become out of breath. It’s fine to have a few visitors or go for a walk around your house or garden, but don’t engage in sports or household chores like vacuuming.

Most patients will be ready to begin modest physical activity about 10 days following a heart attack. The idea is to begin cautiously and gradually increase your capacity. The speed with which you can accomplish this will be determined by the state of your heart and how active you were prior to your heart attack.

Healing from the emotional effects of a heart attack can take time, just like the physical parts of recovery. There may be many ideas and questions running through your head, and you may be concerned about the future.
It’s natural to feel worried and agitated, as well as frustrated, defenseless, and afraid. You may find it particularly challenging to be dependent on others if you have previously been robust and healthy. It’s also natural to be concerned that it will happen again.
heart attack doctor

Try not to bottle up your emotions. If you require assistance or guidance, ask for it.

Read our Emotional and Mental Wellbeing guide to learn more about how to manage your health and live well at home.

After a heart attack, there is life.
You may be wondering, “What happens now?” following the shock of a heart attack and the subsequent recovery

This is the moment to begin rebuilding your life — to reclaim your enjoyment of everyday routines and return to doing the things you enjoy.

More information on how to manage your heart condition at home/ What happens after a heart attack, keep healthy, and lower your risk of future heart disease can be found in our Living with a Heart Condition area.

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