Bergen County Cardiology Specialists would like you to know that like the rest of the organs in the body, the heart needs oxygen to function. When blood flow to the heart is reduced or completely cut off, the heart is deprived of oxygen and other vital nutrients needed for its survival. When the heart is hungry for its missing nutrients, the condition is called ischemia. If ischemia goes on too long, the heart can suffer damage or may even die. This condition is known as a myocardial infarction or heart attack.
What do Bergen County, NJ residents need to know about myocardial infarction?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year at least 715,000 men and women have a heart attack. About 20 percent of those are a repeat attack.
The major controllable risk factors for heart attack include smoking, being overweight, unhealthy diet and inadequate exercise. People who have manageable conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are twice as likely to experience a heart attack.
Major risk factors for heart attack that cannot be controlled are age, genetics and developing a condition called preecalampsia during pregnancy.
It is important to get help quickly when a heart attack is suspected. Seek immediate medical attention if one or more of the following symptoms occur:
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Upper body discomfort (arms, back, neck)
- Difficulty breathing
- Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
How does a Bergen County cardiologist know if I’ve had a heart attack?
Our Bergen County Cardiology Specialists are able to diagnose a heart attack after a thorough assessment of the patient’s medical history, physical exam, blood test and an electrocardiogram (EKG).
If the tests suggest the patient has had a heart attack, further measures will be taken to assess the damage that occurred and to verify the extent of cardiovascular disease that exists in the body. Other tests may include chest x-rays, computer imaging such as MRI, CT or CAT scans, an echocardiogram or a stress test. A more invasive image that utilizes a catheter called an angiogram may also be needed.
Getting quick treatment by a Bergen County Cardiology Specialist is imperative to restore blood flow to the heart. Immediately after a heart attack, a patient will undergo a procedure called thrombolysis in which a solution is injected to break up clots and improve blood flow to the heart. This treatment must be done within 3 hours of a heart attack.
If thrombolysis treatment is not performed in time or is not effective, a coronary angioplasty or bypass surgery (CABG) will need to be done to restore the blood supply to the heart.
After successful treatment, heart attack patients can expect some changes in lifestyle, especially maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and getting to a healthy weight or quitting smoking if applicable. Some patients may also require medications. Depending on the severity of the attack, further surgeries or medical implants may be necessary to maintain proper heart function and blood flow.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. Get to know the best Bergen County Cardiology Specialists, Dr. Rick Pumill, Dr. Fernando Segovia, Dr. Yaron Bareket, Dr. Irfan Admani, Dr. Luis Astudillo, Dr. Haroon Faraz, and Dr. Adam Raskin of Cross County Cardiology by calling (201) 299-4479 or visiting us online at www.crosscountycardiology.com