What is Myocardial Infarction (MI) or Heart Attack?« Back to Questions List

Myocardial Infarction (MI) is the medical term for heart attack.  Myocardial Infarction occurs when blood flow to a part of heart stops abruptly, damaging heart muscles. The blockage of blood flow leads to lack of sufficient supply of oxygen. This results in tissue damage which can sometimes be fatal. The blockage happens due to build up of plaque, a material made up of fat, cholesterol and cellular waste.  Chances of blockage increase due to many factors like diabetes, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Myocardial Infarction, MI,  heart attack, plaque, cholesterol, blood presssure

The common symptoms of Myocardial Infarction or heart attack are 
      •    Chest pain or discomfort  or heartburn  in the centre or left side of chest. The pain lasts for a few minutes and sometimes                    extends into the shoulder, back, neck or jaw.
      •    Fatigue, nausea, breathing difficulty or tiredness.
      •    Feeling of indigestion and gas

Electrocardiogram (ECG) is the simplest and most common diagnosis adopted for identification of  Myocardial Infarction. Troponin blood test is another method adopted for identification of  Myocardial Infarction.

Application of aspirin is the most appropriate immediate treatment for a Myocardial Infarction. Whenever breathing difficulty is observed, supplemental oxygen is used. Angioplasty by which the arteries are pushed open, is used to remove blocks and restore blood circulation. If there are multiple blockages, bypass surgery is adopted instead of angioplasty.  Sometimes, blockages are removed through medication and this is called thrombolysis. In this method, an enzyme is infused into blood to dilute the clot. After a  Myocardial Infarction, changes in food habits, food controls, healthy food habits and  medicines are  recommended to avoid future recurrence. 

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