A 50-year-old female with hypertension and high cholesterol began to feel a tightness in her chest while walking. She attributed it to gas and did not talk about it to her family or the GP.
“One night, after dinner, she experienced chest discomfort and following a restless night, she went to her GP the following day. The ECG (Electrocardiogram) revealed an ongoing heart attack, and she was rushed to our hospital’s emergency,” says Dr Murali Krishna, Specialist— Interventional Cardiologist.
“As we mobilised her for angioplasty/stenting, she developed ventricular fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) and collapsed. Our emergency response team resuscitated her, and she underwent angioplasty/stenting.”
The first 48 hours after a heart attack are critical. In the ICU, the patient developed a transient abnormal heart rhythm which was successfully managed. She was put on anti-coagulants which carries the risk of bleeding. Unfortunately, this patient developed significant bleeding, and the anti-coagulants had to be stopped. This condition can lead to stent thrombosis (stent blocking).
“A few days later, the patient’s chest discomfort and breathlessness recurred, and angiography showed a blocked stent, which was again successfully treated.
“The patient is now doing fine. She is taking medications and has been advised lifestyle modification through exercise and diet, with family and social support to achieve her health target,” says Dr Krishna.
This patient’s case is a model example of treatment that succeeded after a heart attack. But not everyone reaches the hospital in time.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in 2019, 85 per cent of which were due to heart attack and stroke. These numbers tell us that millions of people worldwide develop heart disease due to poor lifestyle behaviours.
“On World Heart Day, let us pledge to promote awareness for every individual to be responsive to their heart health through self-care and a positive attitude,” says Dr Krishna.