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Heart Disease

Heart Attack

Congestive Heart Failure

Generic Drugs

Alternative Heart Disease Treatment

Heart Disease 

Heart Attack 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 will benefit.

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.



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