by Brenna Whitney
A heart attack is most commonly plaque build up blocking the coronary artery in the heart. Coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This is caused by coronary heart disease (CHD).
- Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is when plaque build up blocks the coronary artery. This is the most common and is lead to by atherosclerosis; plaque build up.
- Coronary Artery Spasim (CAS) is when the coronary artery spasms which tightens and blocks blood flow. This is not caused by atherosclerosis. What causes the spasms isn't always clear, but they may be related to taking certain drugs, emotional stress or pain, exposure to extreme cold, and cigarette smoking.
What happens during Coronary Heart Disease?
Plaque builds up over years. During a heart attack, plaque starts to break free and the blood starts to clot, blocking the artery. Blood cannot pass through. This starves the body of oxygen-rich blood. If not treated quickly, muscle cells in the heart begin to die. These cells do not regrow. If enough die, the heart stops or the heart will start to beat irregularly which can kill as well. When this happens, a doctor will use a defibrillator to stop the heart and then again to restart it.
A heart attack can be hereditary. If your family has had a history, then staying healthy and active can keep you from having one. Also a heart attack is caused by risk factors.
In these videos, you follow a man named John who experiences a heart attack. It shows what happens inside the body and what the hospital and paramedics do to keep things under control. It is about 25 minutes long. If the videos don't play, on youtube I looked up body story heart attack.
Part 1 of 5 - Episode 3 - The Beast Within (Body Story)
Part 2 of 5 - Episode 3 - The Beast Within (Body Story)
Part 3 of 5 - Episode 3 - The Beast Within (Body Story)
- oxygen therapy which is the lungs being provided extra oxygen
- blood thinners to prevent clotting
- nitroglycerin to reduce heart workload and to improve blood flow through the coronary artery
- treatment for chest pain
- percutaneous coronary intervention (PCT) which is a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries