What Happens During a Heart Attack?

What Happens During a Heart Attack?


Can you tell us exactly what a heart attack is, and what happens during this cardiac event? And how it’s different for people?>Yeah, so for most people a heart attack or certainly the the most deadly type of a heart attack comes when a an area in the heart artery that has already developed plaque or cholesterol gets inflamed and ruptures. And that exposes the inside of the artery to the blood supply and causes something called a coagulation cascade, in plain-english of blood clot forms in there in the artery abruptly cutting off the blood supply to the heart muscle. People then feel very, usually, sudden onset of severe symptoms chest pain, chest tightness, trouble breathing, sweatiness, for some people nausea or vomiting, and that’s sort of the most dramatic type of heart attack that people get. You can also get heart attacks where a blood clot doesn’t completely block off the artery but you have what’s called just erosion of the plaque, so the artery may be temporarily occluded or blocked off and then the body’s own mechanisms can thin the blood and restore blood flow. Then the other type of heart attack can be where patients have extremely high blood pressure, or the heart rate goes up, or they’re suffering from some other type of acute illness, and the… the heart rate and the blood pressure and the heart itself need more oxygen but because of pre-existing blockages the heart can’t get the oxygen of blood it needs so some injury happens to the heart muscle in those settings as well.