After the unexpected death of Latin American singer Jose Luis Perales, who could have died as a result of a myocardial infarction, heart care is back on the agenda. In fact, it is estimated that in recent years, about 30% of all annual deaths in Chile are related to heart or cardiovascular diseases, which are one of the leading causes of death both in the country and in the world.

In this context, and given that August is the month of the heart, Dr. Luis Castillo, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Autonomous University, stated that “it is very important that people in general realize that we are inserted into a busy and intense lifestyle. For this reason, and in order to avoid ailments, it is important to consider a healthy diet, constant physical activity, weight and a healthy diet. Added to this is the almost obligatory need to quit smoking and avoid the smoke of other smokers. On the other hand, it is important that people control their cholesterol levels and blood pressure, in addition to controlling stress, which also increases the risk of heart disease.

Meanwhile, the head of the public health and academic departments of the Autonomous University, Dr. Karla Rubilar, points out that “taking care of the heart is essential because it is one of the most vital organs of the human body. The heart plays a critical role in circulation, pumping oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to all cells and tissues in the body, and then carrying the deoxygenated blood back to the lungs to get oxygen again.

What is a myocardial infarction?

Both Castillo and Rubilar explain that myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, is a serious condition in which blood flow to part of the heart muscle (the myocardium) is blocked or greatly reduced. This is usually due to the formation of a blood clot in the coronary artery, which is the artery responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

Lack of adequate blood flow can damage or kill myocardial cells, which can lead to a number of potentially dangerous symptoms, including chest pain (angina pectoris), excessive sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness. If not treated quickly and effectively, a heart attack can have serious consequences, including heart failure, life-threatening arrhythmias, and even death.

Treatment for a heart attack usually involves restoring blood flow by dissolving the clot with thrombolytic drugs or performing coronary angioplasty, which is a procedure in which a catheter is used to open a blocked artery and place a stent to keep it open. Cardiorehabilitation and the formation of healthy lifestyle habits are also an integral part of the recovery process and the prevention of future cardiac complications.

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