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Heart Attacks

A clot in the heart can block the blood flow and ultimately cause a heart attack very quickly.

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Blood Clots:

Every 5-7 minutes, someone in Canada dies from a blood clot related health issue.

Heart Attack What is it?

Blood flow is life. Without proper blood flow, we humans cannot survive. Developing a DVT within veins in the body can move upwards within the arteries lodging into one of the main heart valves causing a heart attack which can be fatal if not treated.

A heart attack a.k.a. myocardial infarction is very serious, please call 911 immediately if you suspect someone is having a heart attack.

Acute coronary syndrome -
(STEMI) ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction:


A STEMI blocks the coronary artery, the main blood vessel fueling the heart. A clot in the coronary artery is among the most serious clots anyone can develop.

Statistics Statistics

"In 2012, more than 66,000 Canadians died from heart disease or stroke. That’s one person every 7 minute"

~ Source: HeartandStroke.com

"Heart attack and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The ten-year average for men and women is just under 72,000 deaths per year." ~ Source: TheMensCentre.ca

"The number of hospitalizations in Canada for 2009 related to Acute Myocardial Infraction (heart attack) was as follows:"

• Girls/women: 22,206 • Boys/men: 38,790 • TOTAL: 60,996

~ Source: Phac-aspc.gc.ca

"Each year, about 635,000 people in the US have a new heart attack and about 300,000 have a repeat attack."

~ Source: Heart.org

Signs and Symptoms Signs & Symptoms

If you or anyone you know shows any of the below signs and symptom, please call 911 right away.

A great deal of people do not react quick enough, typically individuals disregard the signs of a heart attack. Some even become embarrassed and aren’t willing to tell anyone. The key is to react quickly.

• Pain the in arm
• Slurred speech
• Drooping face
• Chest pain
• Upper body discomfort
• Shortness of breath
• Cold sweats
• Nausea, lightheadedness

Therapies Therapies

Clotted Heart Diagnosis:

Patient Assessment:

As all conditions, patients are first assessed by a medical professional. Factors are considered depending on the situation (ex. Patient history, trauma, surgery, risk assessment, etc.)

Blood Tests (D-Dimer):

Blood tests are done right away to measure the coagulation factor within a patient’s blood. This process includes a blood count and platelet count. The number of platelets in your blood determine the blood cell pieces that stick together, ultimately forming blood clots in the system.

Ultrasound:

An ultrasound is performed to have a visual understanding of the blockage in question. Measures are taken to ensure the blood clot hasn’t moved into the arteries upwards towards the mid-section of the body.

Ultrasounds are also performed to test; compression, blood flow and possible pooling of blood. They can also measure the size and nature of the blood clot in question.

Clotted Heart Treatment:

Anticoagulation Treatment:

A 7-day dose of Low-Molecular Weight Heparin is administered. Heparin injections react quickly to ensure anticoagulation prior to the oral medication(s) taking effect.

Oral Anticoagulation:

While the heparin takes effect, the patient is administered an oral anticoagulant (i.e. Coumadin, Xarelto, etc.). This treatment usually lasts up to 3 months depending on the severity of the heart attack.

Atrial Fibrillation - Electrical Cardioversion:

The heart’s rhythm may be affected from the clot. An electric current is used to reset the hearts natural rhythm which allows the patient to have a better chance of recovering.

Outpatient Care:

A number of blood clot patients undergo “outpatient care” while treated their clot. Some patients may be required to have blood tests regularly performed depending on the nature of the medications.

For ex. Coumadin has to be regularly monitored, and INR test is performed to ensure the patient is taking the appropriate dose to stay at a therapeutic rate. Doses may be increased or decreased as needed.

Diet Changes:

Certain foods may need to be avoided. Leafy greens and certain fruits contain high concentrations of Vitamin K, which is a reversal agent (natural coagulant). Please talk to your doctor about options needed while taking your anticoagulants.

Physiotherapy / Exercise:

Your doctor may recommend you undergo some form of non-intrusive physiotherapy to help rebuild the muscles in the affected area. Blood clots cause damage internally, regular exercise when possible is recommended to help build healthy muscles to ensure blood flow is properly distributed throughout the body.

Prevention and Risks Prevention & Risks:

Heart attacks are hard to predict, but certain lifestyle measures can be taken in order to prevent future risks of developing blood clots. Prevention is the Key-2-BloodClot-Free:

Blood Pressure:

Ensuring your lifestyle includes regular blood pressure checks is very important. Blood clots are affected by blood pressure, or lack thereof.

Obesity:

Being overweight poses a great deal of risks to your health. One of those risks is developing an Ischemic Stroke. Being overweight puts a great deal of strain on your heart and also puts pressure on your veins and arteries. Your risks are higher.

Exercise:

Individuals who exercise regularly are less likely to develop Ischemic Stroke’s. Laziness doesn’t pay. Regular walks, stretching, yoga, and non-intrusive exercises strengthens muscles around the walls of your veins. Healthy muscles increase blood flow throughout the body.

NOTE: Excessive weight lifting can have the opposite effect causing blood vessels to burst, expand and retract.

Smoking:

As if we as humans need another reason to quit smoking, but as many already know, smoking causes arteries and veins to retract, thus causing blood flow problems. Smoking drastically affect blood pressure increasing the risks of developing blood clots.

Alcohol:

Alcohol has been proven to increase blood pressure and cause issues internally. Excessive drinking can be very damaging, if not fatal. Drinking alcohol can cause heart disease and strokes.

Gaming:

Some “gamer’s” have been known to develop blood clots simply by sitting for far too long at one time. Lack of movement causes blockages in the veins. The longer a person plays videos games without stretching, the longer they’re at risk of developing these silent killers.

Long Flights:

More and more we hear of the long-flight horror story. It’s a proven fact that long flights now pose serious risks to individuals because of the lack of movement while sitting for hours on end. Simple exercises to help open up the veins and to increase blood flow is now practiced by a great deal of airlines.

Flights that are 12 hours or longer increases the risks dramatically. Make sure to venture to the washroom at least once an hour. Practice safe sitting habits, while stretching out your pelvic area as much as possible.

Pregnancy:

Pregnancies are common factors for blood clots. Pregnant mothers should take all precautions during their pregnancy. A great deal of studies has been done on the subject. More and more doctors are familiar with the risks involved. Make sure to speak to your doctor about your personal risks and what therapies and/or treatment options are available.

Trauma:

Trauma to the body is very unpredictable. A traumatic fall, car crash, sports injury, etc. can cause a lot of internal damage not seen by the naked eye. Any trauma should be treated seriously; measures should be taken to be checked by a local hospital for internal injuries that might affect blood flow in any way.

Surgeries:

Patients should be well informed about the risks of having surgeries performed. Even in the best circumstance, whenever a body is worked on, there are risks of bleeding, bruising and damaged arterial systems. Patients should make sure to discuss anticoagulant options, and make sure they keep their appointments.

Work Environment:

These days an average person works long hours, many of those hours are stuck behind a desk positioned within a chair not moving around much. This daily commitment to our work can cause complications since we tend not to think about the damage forming within our lower extremities. Getting up and stretching is very important to maintain healthy blood flow.

Stress:

Individuals with extremely highly stressful jobs, life events, etc. pose a higher risk of heart attacks. The causes aren’t exactly known to the health community, but studies have shown that people who have a balanced life, have lower risks of a stroke. Meditation, yoga, aroma therapy, walks in the park and calming retreats are all therapies one can use to help deter stressors in life.

Medical Note:

Any and all information provided here is not designed to give medical advice and/or replace recommendations from doctors.
Information therein comes from personal experiences of thrombosis patients.

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