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Myocardial infarction

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Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. In Thailand the number of deaths from heart disease is increasing each year. The main condition that patients are suffering from is coronary artery disease resulting in myocardial infarction.

Myocardial infarction is the result of the lack of blood supply to the cardiac muscle through atherosclerotic coronary artery disease obstructing the blood flow. The symptoms of myocardial infarction include a crushing pain around the chest, which may spread to the arms, the neck, the jaw, and the molars. Patients who are experiencing a major infarction may have palpitations, feel tired, sweat and lose consciousness and can even die suddenly.

If you have chest pains or suffer from the symptoms mentioned above or feel pain around the chest for 15-20 minutes, see a doctor as soon as possible. Early intervention can save your life.

The doctor will inquire about the patient’s general health, and order medical and blood checks, including EKG. The patient may need an exercise stress test in order to ascertain the fitness of the heart muscle or and echo cardiogram to check the efficiency of the heart. If the doctor finds any abnormal symptoms then a 128-Slice CT Scan may be in order to check coronary arteries. The accuracy of this diagnostic procedure is 90%. These checks are non-invasive, so are painless.

Further treatment depends on the condition of the heart muscle and the reasons for any blockages. Medical treatment with vasodilators may be enough, though interventional techniques including balloon angioplasty or stenting may be necessary or even coronary artery bypass grafts.

The best treatment for cardiac conditions is “prevention” A healthy lifestyle, a healthy diet and an annual check-up if you are above 40 years of age will go a long way towards ensuring that you too do not die from a myocardial infarction.

‘Finally, do not ignore symptoms of heart disease. Early treatment can save your life!’

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