Myocardial Infarction. Myocardial Infarctions Are All Too

1208 WordsFeb 2, 20175 Pages
Myocardial Infarction Myocardial infarctions are all too familiar in this day and age. Just about every person knows somebody who has either had a myocardial infarction. “About every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction (heart attack.” (American Heart Association, Inc., 2016). That means that roughly, in the ninety minutes of this class time, one hundred and thirty-five people have had heart attacks across the country. According to the CDC, “Every year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these cases, 525,000 are a first heart attack.” (CDC, 2015). So, what exactly is a myocardial infarction and what causes it to happen? There are several signs that could potentially alert an individual to…show more content…
It is this death of the cardiac muscle that is the heart attack. Plaque build-up in the arteries is known as atherosclerosis. “Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.” (National Institutes of Health, 2016). After a while, plaque solidifies and constricts the arteries. This reduces the movement of oxygen rich blood to the heart. When plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries it is called Coronary Artery Disease. “When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle.” (American Heart Association, Inc., 2016). Myocardial Infarctions can also be caused by Coronary Artery Spasm. “These spasms are due to a squeezing of muscles in the artery wall. They most often occur in just one area of the artery.” (Michael A. Chen, 2016). Coronary artery spasms are very rare. Only about two percent of individuals who suffer angina are experiencing it because of coronary artery spasms. “If the spasm lasts long enough, it may even cause a heart attack.” (Michael A. Chen, 2016). “Sometimes a heart attack is not just a heart attack, but the result of spontaneous tearing in the coronary artery wall. The artery wall has three layers and when a tear occurs, blood is able to pass through the innermost layer and become trapped and bulge inward. This narrows or blocks the artery
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