Having a heart attack is a serious situation that not only requires extensive treatment, but will probably also require a change in lifestyle from that day forward. Although causes for a heart attack may differ, generally once someone suffers from a heart attack he or she must do the best they can to reduce stress and prevent a second occurrence. In the meantime, if someone you know or love has suffered from a heart attack, you might be interested to know what treatment options are available and what you can do to help them get through the recovery period. Once that part is over, then we’ll talk about the future and dealing with a weakened heart.
Obviously the best thing to do in the event of a heart attack is to call 911 and/or get them to the hospital as soon as possible. Research has proven that the quicker someone is treated for a heart attack, the less damage that occurs to their heart as a result. That means it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention.
During a heart attack, there are two situations that might occur. At first, the affected heart could start beating in unnatural patterns, also called arrhythmia. This means that the heart is on its way to giving up or taking on more damage. If this continues, the heart could stop beating all together, which means that organs and brain function will soon stop. This is fatal and must be addressed immediately. Although you might not be a doctor, you might need to perform CPR as the primary heart attack treatment until help arrives.
Once the paramedics arrive on scene, they will work to fix the problem by removing obstacle in the arteries and administering medications to help ease the heart back to normal function. Although this doesn’t always work, the medications can do a great deal to mitigate damage and discomfort. As a last resort, they might use epinephrine to revive a heart that has stopped beating. This drug is a stimulant that promotes the release of adrenaline and will work most of the time.
Once you reach the hospital, the doctors or ER personnel will begin the necessary steps for either increased medication or surgery. In many cases, bypass surgery might be necessary to fix or repair the damage to the heart. If they get to the person in time, they can save their life. Although bypass surgery is also dangerous, thanks to better technology the chances of survival are quickly becoming greater.
If you or your loved on survive a heart attack, then you will need to make sure that you take it easy for as long as you can. Don’t exert yourself physically or mentally and try to get plenty of rest. Although light exercise will be helpful down the road, the most important thing to do now is relax and heal. This process can take several months and is difficult for a lot of people. This is a great time to quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption. Also, try eating healthy fruits and vegetables rather than red or other fatty meats. Improving your diet can make a huge difference both now and in the future.
Only a doctor can prescribe a treatment plan, so make sure that you ask any questions you might have and follow the recovery plan to the T. There is no reason to risk another episode. Even light stress or exertion can cause a 2nd heart attack. Since the 2nd is usually much worse then the first, you should do everything you can to avoid it.
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