Potential complications from a heart attack can vary widely, from mild to life threatening.
Some people experience a "minor" heart attack (although it can still be very serious) with no associated complications. This is also known as an uncomplicated heart attack.
Other people experience a major heart attack, which has a wide range of potentialcomplications and may require extensive treatment.
Some common complications of a heart attack are discussed in more detail below.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat this includes:
Arrhythmias can develop after a heart attack as a result of damage to the muscles. Damaged muscles disrupt electrical signals used by the body to control the heart.
Some arrhythmias, such as tachycardia, are mild and cause symptoms such as:
Other arrhythmias can be life threatening, such as:
These life-threatening arrhythmias can be a major cause of death during the 24-48 hours after a heart attack.
However, survival rates have improved significantly since the invention of the portable defibrillator an external device that delivers an electric shock to the heart and "resets" it to the right rhythm.
Mild arrhythmias can usually be controlled with medication such as beta-blockers .
More troublesome bradycardias that cause repeated and prolonged symptoms may need to be treated with a pacemaker . This is an electric device surgically implanted in the chest, which is used to help regulate the heartbeat.
Heart failure happens when your heart is unable to effectively pump blood around your body. It can develop after a heart attack ifyour heart muscleis extensively damaged. This usually occurs in the left side of the heart (the left ventricle).
Symptoms of heart failure include:
Heart failure can be treated with a combination of medications and, in some cases, surgery.
Cardiogenic shock is similar to heart failure, but more serious. It develops when the heart muscle has been damaged so extensively it can no longer pump enough blood to maintain many of the body's functions.
A type of medication called vasopressors (or inotropes) may be used. Vasopressors help constrict (squeeze) the blood vessels, which increases the blood pressure and improves blood circulation.
Once the initial symptoms of cardiogenic shock have been stabilised, surgery may be required to improve the functioning of the heart. This may still include PCI, alongside the insertionof a small pump, known as an intra-aortic balloon pump. This can help improve the flow of blood away from the heart.
Another option is a coronary artery bypass graft (where a blood vessel from another part of your body is used to bypass any blockage).
A heart rupture is an extremelyseriousbut relatively uncommon complication of heart attacks where the heart's muscles, walls or valves rupture (split apart).
It can occur if the heart is significantly damaged during a heart attack andusually happens 1 to 5 days afterwards.
Symptoms are the same as those of cardiogenic shock. Open heart surgery is usually required to repair the damage.
The outlook for people who have a heart rupture isn't good, and it's estimated that half of all people die withinfive days of the rupture occurring.
A heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) is a serious medical emergency in which the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually by a blood clot.
Read about symptoms of a heart attacks, including chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling and being sick, and anxiety
Heart attacks are caused by the blood supply to the heart being suddenly interrupted, usually by a blood clot
If a heart attack is suspected, you should be admitted to hospital immediately. You will usually be admitted to an acute cardiac care unit (ACCU) so the diagnosis can be confirmed and treatment begin.
Read about treating a heart attacks, including an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)
Read about complications of a heart attack. Complications of a heart attack can vary widely, from mild to life threatening.
Read about recovering from a heart attack. Recovery can take several months, and it's very important not to rush your rehabilitation
Making lifestyle changes is the most effective way to prevent having a heart attack (or having another heart attack).
Mike Smith has had three heart attacks. As he nears 60 and enjoys life to the full, he explains how the attacks affected him.
After a heart attack Debbie Siddons was too scared to pick up her 18-month-old baby. Rehabilitation helped her move on.
Following a heart attack, a quick diagnosis and emergency treatment saved Lynn Connors life.
Doctor enquires about breathing because patients often exhibit respiratory issues to the point of passing out. Doctor immediately recommends an EcG. Through the EcG, one determine the positioning of the ischemia, the degree of heart muscle involved in the ischemia.
Infarct is an ischemic necrosis of the myocardis, which comes as a consequence of the acute insufficiency of the coronary arteries. This comes as a consequence of the obstruction of coronary muscle blood vessels by a thrombus.
The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort that may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it is in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes.
Complications that might occur are: cardiogenic shock; progressive cardiogenic shock; septal rupture, rhythm disruptions; pericarditis, thromboembolism, left ventricle aneurysm.
Some of the risk factors of myocardial infarction include: hypertonic disease, disruptions in the metabolism of lipids, obesity, inherited hypercholesterolemia, biliary problems, age (above 50 years old), etc.
Pre-hospital treatment is very important, due to its crucial involvement in preserving and potentially saving the patientÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s life. Aiding and transporting the patient to the hospital immediately hold primary importance in saving the patientÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s life.