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Definition A heart attack is when blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are blocked, preventing enough oxygen from getting to the heart. The heart muscle dies or becomes permanently damaged. Your doctor calls this a myocardial infarction. Alternative Names Myocardial infarction; MI; Acute MI; ST-elevation myocardial infarction; non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction Causes, incidence, and risk factors Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart starves for oxygen and heart cells die. In atherosclerosis , plaque builds up in the walls of your coronary arteries. This plaque is made up of cholesterol and other cells. A heart attack can occur as a result of the following: The slow buildup of plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries. A heart attack may occur if not enough oxygen-containing blood can flow through this blockage. This is mo...
Whenever something bad happens there is an irrational thought process that causes each of us to try to assess "blame". This is no different for doctors than it is for other people. I can't think of anything much stranger than the discussion I hear from physicians after a young patient comes in with a heart attack . You can almost see the gears turning in each doctor's head. The first thought is that the patient has a family history, high blood pressure , uses cocaine or alcohol or tobacco, has high cholesterol , is diabetic , has congenital heart disease or rheumatic fever or any other problem that differentiates him/her from the doctor. After all, the doctor doesn't want to feel that this could happen to him/her. The next thought is that the patient must have been doing something to cause this catastrophe (not like the doctor), and certainly the patient should have known that something was wrong. These are common thoughts that people have (doctors included). We do...
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