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Heart Attack And Cardiac Arrest Essay

886 words - 4 pages

Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest
Every year 1.1 million people in the United States have a heart attack, and about 550,000 of them die. (National Institutes). Heart attacks affect millions of people annually; discovering the causes, treatment, and prevention is crucial to saving human life. A wide range of causes that vary from unhealthy lifestyles to an underlying heart condition can cause heart attacks. Treatments can range from oral medications to major open heart surgery. Prevention can often be as simple as making miniscule lifestyle changes such as dieting and exercise. Treatment and diagnosis are dependent upon each victim’s overall health and the health of the heart.
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This is not true for everyone. The symptoms of a heart attack vary greatly for each victim. So, how does someone know they are having a heart attack? The most common sign is an uncomfortable tightening or pressure in the chest. For some people it is a sharp piercing pain, while for others the pain could be as mild as the feeling of intense heart burn or indigestion. Many victims will wait for hours before seeking medical attention because they mistake the first symptoms of a heart attack as bad indigestion or heartburn. Symptoms include a pain that may radiate into the arms, neck, or other parts of the upper body, shortness of breath that may occur with or before the chest pain (De Milto “Heart Attack” 1364). For those experiencing a heart attack, 9-1-1 should be called immediately to receive life saving medical treatment.
Typically if a person claims to be having a heart attack, medical personnel will begin treatment with or without a confirmed diagnosis. The patient is given oxygen through a nose tube so that the heart and other organ are able to receive some form of oxygen. Next, the victim may receive an antiplatelet medication like aspirin or Plavix. Antiplatelet medicines stop blood cells from bunching together and forming more unwanted blood clots. Finally, the victim will receive a spray of nitroglycerin under the tongue. Nitroglycerin dilates every blood vessel in the entire body, allowing the blood to flow freely through the coronary arteries. Other medications and procedures are later provided to the victim upon a confirmed diagnosis of a heart attack. (National Institutes)
Diagnosis of heart attack is...

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