A myocardial infarction or heart attack happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to deteriorate and eventually die.
Heart attacks almost always happen as a result of a coronary illness (coronary cardiopathy), also called coronary artery disease. Coronary Heart Disease is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. The buildup of plaque occurs over many years.
Eventually, an area of plaque can rupture (break open) inside of an artery. This causes a blood clot to form on the plaque’s surface. If the clot becomes large enough, it can mostly or completely block blood flow through a coronary artery. If the blockage isn’t treated quickly, the portion of heart muscle fed by the artery begins to die. Healthy heart tissue is replaced with scar tissue giving rise to possible complications such as cardiac failure (weakness and loss of strength of the heart to pump blood) and arrhythmias (changes in the normal rhythm of the heart), putting the patient’s life at risk.
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