The term acute coronary syndrome is a condition of the heart whereby the blood supplied to the heart muscles is blocked therefore leading or causing death in patient. This condition occurs because of fat deposits that build up on the walls of the coronary arteries. The arteries are useful components that are responsible for the delivery of nutrients and oxygen rich blood to the heart muscles. The fat build is presumed to have taken place gradually over a certain period.
The following are the common signs of an acute coronary syndrome for example chest pain, tightness in one or both arms, pain in the neck, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating and feeling dizzy. The term acute coronary syndrome is mostly used to describe two main types of coronary artery disease:
Stable angina is a condition that is predictable and manageable in most patients. It is characterized by its regular occurrence consistently for at least two months and only during times of physical effort or emotional stress. These circumstances exert strain on the heart when it really needs to receive more oxygen than it can get from the narrow arteries.
The unstable angina is mostly observed to be unpredictable and dangerous. It can occur when a person least expects it to occur for instance during resting, which means that the heart is consistently deprived from getting enough oxygen.
To make a quick and accurate diagnosis the doctor should perform tests and inquire about any other symptoms besides checking previous medical history. These types of tests will include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): This is a test that measures the electrical activity in the heart via electrodes attached to the skin. An abnormal or irregular heart impulse may indicate poor heart function caused by a lack of oxygen level in the heart.
- Blood tests: there are certain enzymes that can be detected in the blood cells, when observed through tests, if the cells are drying this results in damage to the heart tissue, but a positive result indicates a heart attack.
- Cardiac perfusion scan: This a scan that can show if the heart is getting enough blood and can check areas of damage after a heart attack has occurred.
Acute coronary syndromes just like in heart failure and stroke, it is likely to affects people who have certain risk factors such as people who smoke, high blood pressure, high level of blood cholesterol, people with diabetes, people who do not exercise, and individual who are overweight or obese. Whenever necessary the doctor may recommend doing additional tests to rule out other causes as he explores better ways of treating the patient.
When it comes to treatment, usually the circumstance arises out of a medical emergency, therefore requiring immediate treatment for acute coronary syndrome. It may be important to consider the short-term goals which could include relieving pain and improving blood flow to help restore heart function as quickly as possible.
The long-term goals will include making improvement to the overall heart function, managing risk factors, and lowering the risk of a heart attack. The type of treatment suitable for this phase will include a combination of medical drugs and surgical procedures. Some of the medications are nitro-glycerine, antiplatelet drug, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers among others.
For some people, acute coronary syndrome can be prevented, because heart diseases can lead directly to acute coronary syndrome, but for individuals who do not have heart diseases can protect themselves by practicing a healthy lifestyle like eating a heart-healthy diet, a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, not smoking, engaging in regular excises among others.
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