Acute Coronary Syndrome Treatment in Paterson, NJ
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) refers to any condition related to a sudden, reduced flow of blood to the heart. This typically refers to two hazardous health conditions:
- Myocardial infraction: Colloquially known as a “heart attack,” this condition results from the coronary artery sustaining blockage due to the heart being damaged. Reduced blood flow and oxygen ensues, altering the heart’s function and causing cell death.
- Unstable angina: In this condition, blood flow to the heart is constricted due to narrowing of the coronary arteries.
Acute coronary syndrome puts you at a heightened risk of sudden cardiac death and therefore warrants immediate treatment. If you experience symptoms of ACS, it is imperative that you immediately go to the hospital.
However, ACS may be preventable if proper steps are taken. To prevent the onset of ACS, improving your cardiovascular health is your first priority and can be discussed with your healthcare provider. Schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Paterson that specializes in acute coronary syndrome treatment and prevention. Call (201) 806-6099 or contact Dr. M.T. Shahab online.
Acute Coronary Syndrome Causes
ACS is typically brought on by coronary artery disease (also known as heart disease), a condition caused by hardening of the arteries due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) . Risk factors for ACS include:
- Older age (men 45 and older, and women 55 and older)
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco use
- Lack of physical activity
- Unhealthy diet
- Obesity or overweight
- Family history of chest pain, heart disease or stroke
- For women, a history of high blood pressure, preeclampsia or diabetes during pregnancy
Acute Coronary Syndrome Symptoms
Patients suffering acute coronary syndrome usually present with symptoms sharply, which may vary according to the patient's age, sex and health condition. For instance, though ACS is commonly associated with chest pain, women, older adults and people with diabetes may not experience chest pain. Acute coronary syndrome symptoms include:
- Chest pain (angina) or discomfort, which may include aching, pressure, tightness or burning
- Pain in the shoulders, arms, upper abdomen, back, neck or jaw
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
- Unexplained fatigue
ACS is considered a medical emergency. If you experience any of the aforementioned ACS signs and symptoms, it is important to see a healthcare professional immediately. If you experience chest pain or discomfort, in particular, many life-threatening conditions may be the cause and therefore emergency services should promptly be contacted; you should not drive yourself to the emergency department.
Acute Coronary Syndrome Diagnosis
An acute coronary syndrome diagnosis will be made by your healthcare provider following a physical exam in which he or she will discuss your symptoms and health history. Diagnostics will follow and could include:
- Electrocardiogram: A test which measures the electrical signals that control your heart’s rhythm. Small pads and patches are taped to your chest and other parts of your body which are attached to a machine that traces these signals and records them on paper. Your healthcare provider then inspects the recording for changes that could indicate if your heart is not getting enough blood or if you are experiencing a heart attack.
- Blood test: Your blood will be tested for a rise in cardiac enzymes, which could indicate whether your heart is damaged.
- Cardiac perfusion scan: Less commonly, a cardiac perfusion scan may be performed during which your heart is examined to determine whether enough blood is being supplied or whether damage has been sustained from a heart attack.
Acute Coronary Syndrome Treatment
Acute coronary syndrome treatment will include medications to return blood flow to your heart as well as to prevent blood clots. Medication such as nitroglycerin may be prescribed to widen your arteries and improve blood flow to relieve your chest pain. Pain medication and oxygen may also be recommended. Lab tests will determine further treatment such as whether an angioplasty (a surgery to unblock blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries) or a bypass surgery (to improve blood flow to the heart) may be necessary.
Following your hospital treatment, additional medications may be prescribed for a duration of time depending on the severity of your condition. These could include beta-blockers, aspirin or other blood clot-preventing medications, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol-regulating medications. Your healthcare provider will also likely recommend healthy lifestyle changes to lower your likelihood of sustaining a future heart attack, such as quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.
It is important to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider should you experience any ACS symptoms as this condition puts you at a heightened risk of sudden cardiac death. Schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Paterson that specializes in acute coronary syndrome diagnosis and treatment. Call (201) 806-6099 or contact Dr. M.T. Shahab online.
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