Heart Attack Treatment

Published: February 6, 2012

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Overview

A variety of heart attack treatments are available to help you in the event of a heart attack. If your blood work shows evidence of an attack or you show abnormal EKG characteristics, treatment should begin immediately. Recovery from a heart attack depends greatly on not only the severity of your heart attack but also how quickly it was treated and stopped, preventing further damage to the heart muscle. If the attack was stopped very quickly, there may be no damage at all.

Heart attacks are immediately treated with medication. Aspirin is given to thin the blood and let more blood pump through arteries that are narrowed and blocked, causing the pain. If you can't take aspirin, alternative medicine to thin the blood can be given. Thrombolytic is a drug for heart blockages that dissolve the clots so that blood can move freely once again. It's crucial to get blood and oxygen flowing to the heart again to prevent heart damage.

Other treatment for heart attack can include beta-blockers to help relax a straining heart muscle, nitroglycerin, and pain medication. Treatments after heart attack include cholesterol medicines that are designed to lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Along with the drugs for cholesterol, called statins, drugs to lower blood pressure might also be called for. Blood pressure medication and cholesterol drugs are most commonly ongoing medications that you might take for the rest of your life to help prevent another heart attack. Medicine for heart health and to keep your blood thinner might also be necessary, depending on the risk of heart attack indicated by your resting blood pressure. The costs for heart medication are usually covered by health insurance.

Heart attack prevention is important, but once you've had an attack, recovery will be the focus. You'll soon realize it goes hand in hand with treatment and prevention of further heart attacks. Exercise for recovery that targets the heart and slowly builds back its endurance is important, and you'll probably be taught the proper way to do these exercises by your doctor or physical therapist.

When it comes to heart attack prevention, exercise is important as is a diet, getting enough sleep, not smoking, avoiding alcohol, and generally good health. However, there is no cure for heart disease. You'll always have to be careful with an eye toward preventing a heart attack, especially if heart conditions are apparent in family history. Just know that most heart attacks can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle.

Resources

For more information about heart attack treatment and prevention, check out the following websites:

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