How do you treat a heart attack?

A heart attack is a critical event – the heart muscle isn’t getting enough blood, giving patients symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath. They can range from small amounts of damage to being life-threatening – so how do we treat heart attacks?

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What is heart failure?

 

Image | DocJana

Heart failure is a term used to describe a broad range of conditions that all share similar symptoms and signs. It is the fastest growing cardiovascular condition. At the core, heart failure is about one key principle: the heart’s function cannot match the body’s requirements.

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What is a pericardial effusion?

Pericardial_effusion_with_tamponade
A large pericardial effusion. In this image, the structure bouncing from left to right is the heart, with the large black space surrounding it made up of excess fluid (the pericardial effusion). A comparison with a normal echocardiogram is below.

A pericardial effusion means you have an excess of fluid around the heart, which can push on the heart itself and cause problems.

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What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Considering that heart attacks are the leading cause of death in Australia, it’s important you know what the symptoms are so it can be picked up early. Although it can be a dramatic event, many patients ignore their symptoms for a long time because it isn’t severe enough – sometimes leaving it too late.

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