Medical Emergency Care For Heart Attack
If you are having a heart attack, it is crucial that you get medical emergency care as soon as possible. The sooner arterial blood flow is reestablished, the less likely you will be to sustain damage to your heart. Getting to the nearest hospital during the first few minutes of your heart attack is essential to your well-being. Here are some emergency medical services that you may receive either in the ambulance by the paramedics or once you reach the hospital by the doctors and nurses:
When the paramedics arrive at your home, they will assess your vital signs and place you on a cardiac monitor. If your electrocardiogram tracings indicate that you are having a heart attack, you may be given one or more aspirin tablets to chew.
As opposed to swallowing whole aspirin tablets, chewing them will get them into your circulation faster so that they can start dissolving the blood clot in your artery so that blood can flow can be reestablished. Early aspirin administration may significantly reduce the risk for heart muscle damage, and may also relieve symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and arm pain, and shortness of breath.
It is important to note that if you believe you are having a heart attack, do not wait for the ambulance to arrive before taking aspirin. Time is of the essence during a cardiovascular event, and chewing an aspirin early on can mean the difference between an excellent prognosis and an unfavorable one.
As soon as the emergency room doctors determine that you are having a heart attack, you will be quickly transferred to the cardiac catheterization lab for an angioplasty procedure. During a cardiac "cath," or angioplasty procedure, the interventional cardiologist will make an incision in your groin area and insert a catheter into your femoral artery.
The catheter will be advanced further into the artery until it is met with resistance, which may indicate the area of obstruction. The catheter also has a camera attached to it so that the arteries can be visualized on a monitor. Once the location of the clot is identified, a small balloon that is attached to the tip of the catheter will expand, pushing plaque, cholesterol deposits, and other material against the walls of the artery so that blood flow can be reestablished.
If you experience chest pain, pain that radiates down your left arm, dizziness, shortness of breath, or weakness, seek emergency medical care right away. The sooner you are evaluated and treated, the less likely you will be to experience cardiac damage during a heart attack.