Heart attack. What is it?

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 No Comments Under: Heart

Heart attack is the main reason for death in the USA, but though it is so, many do not realize how it all happens. Let us answer this question and explain why blood vessels become less elastic.

When everything goes the right way, the left heart ventricle drives the blood rich in oxygen through the main pipe of the organism, called aorta and through the other organs. The arteries divide many times and they get smaller and smaller until reach the size of microscopic capillaries. When the process of food and oxygen extraction from the blood comes to the end, blood returns to heart through veins and then the process starts anew but in the right heart ventricle. Such organ as heart never rests until death, that is why it needs good transportation routes to carry necessary fuel to all parts of the body. This system provides never-ending work and constant work of coronary system with arteries, veins and tiny capillaries is required.

When the process is interrupted and heart is not supplied with blood for a few minutes, this heart section will die as gangrene will occur. Much depends upon the location of blockage: the person has better chances when it is nearer to the coronary artery end. And he will die when blockage is in the beginning.

After heart attack the person never gets complete recovery. The damaged section remains dead and the scar tissue appears. There is a potential risk of rupture for some days after the heart attack took place. The person can die. Many people finally die several years later, for the heart is seriously injured. It is not able to pump the blood so well, as it did before. Slight damage can be compared to short circuit in electricity. But it can be also serious as it can result in unexpected death of the person.

What is the reason for the blood flow blockage in an artery? This is not some junk in the arteries causing the obstruction. The blood flow in an artery is blocked by an abrupt creation of thrombus or a blood clot. This is the process similar to the one that does not let us bleed to death after we were cut. Blood is not aware of the location that is why it clots when contact with tissue occurs. What causes this error and how it has to do with cholesterol and loss of arteries flexibility?

Atherosclerosis is the artery walls thickening, it forms little by little. When this happens, the build-up is created in the artery wall; it is not stuck to it. This is endothelium – a layer of cells lining the artery. It prevents the blood contact with tissue underneath, which can have a clot effect.
Cholesterol from the blood gets through endothelium to the arteries tissue. Leukocytes that like cholesterol are surely here. Consuming cholesterol, they let substances go which bring to swelling and draw other leukocytes. Plaque is the formation of such leukocytes and other things accumulated. In case the endothelial outer surface is removed, which is called plaque rupture, the blood can rapidly barricade the blood flow entirely as the rupture clots inside the artery.

It can be so that it never ruptures and this is called stable plaque, but it can bring pain and angina, though will not bring to death in comparison with frailer plaque with risk of rupture. Flat plaques are like murderers, because the heart hasn’t produced blood backup supply for the coronary arteries. In case a plaque is bigger, the body grows different coronary arteries to enhance blood supply to the blocked area. In case of sudden plaque there is no time for it.
There are a number of contemporary ways of medical treatment so it is possible to prevent plaque ruptures and save many people from death.

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