Congestive Heart Failure
Alternative Heart Disease Treatment
Heart Attack Treatment
From American Heart Association
American Heart Association Recommendation
When a heart attack occurs, you must recognize the signals and respond
immediately. Time is critical. When an artery to the heart (coronary artery) is
blocked, the heart muscle doesn't die instantly. But damage increases the longer
the artery stays blocked. Delay may increase heart damage and reduce your chance
of survival. It also lessens the chance of preserving heart muscle. This
increases the risk of disability.
Anyone who has heart attack warning signs should call 9-1-1 immediately. People
who pass out before reaching the emergency room should receive cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (kar"de-o-PUL'mo-nair-e re-sus"ah-TA'shun) (CPR).
Most communities have an emergency cardiovascular care system that can respond
quickly. This prompt care dramatically reduces heart damage. In fact, 88 percent
of heart attack survivors under age 65 can return to their usual work. Prompt
care isn't the only reason so many heart attack survivors recover so quickly,
but it's an important one.
If a victim gets to an emergency room fast enough, reperfusion (rep"er-FU'zhun)
therapy may be done. This increases blood supply to the heart muscle. It's done
with drugs to dissolve clots (thrombolysis), balloon angioplasty (PTCA) or
surgery. The sooner any of these techniques occur, the more likely the patient
Thrombolysis (throm"bo-LI'sis) involves injecting a clot-dissolving agent, such
as streptokinase, urokinase or tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), to dissolve a
clot in a coronary artery and restore blood flow. For best effect, these drugs
must be used within a few (usually 3) hours of a heart attack.
If this treatment isn't done immediately after a heart attack, percutaneous
transluminal coronary angioplasty (per"ku-TA'ne-us tranz-LU'min-al KOR'o-nair-e
AN'je-o-plas-te) (PTCA) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) may be
done later to improve blood supply to the heart muscle. Once part of the heart
muscle dies, its function can't be restored. However, function may be restored
to areas with decreased blood flow.