This dangerous condition is usually due to a Coronary Thrombosis which is a clot forming within the coronary artery. It is trigged by rapture of the plaque, which releases substances that start the clotting process off. The segment of the heart muscle supplied by the occluded vessel, infarcts (dies) within a few hours.
The sufferer usually experiences severe crushing chest central chest pain often spreading in the neck, jaw and down the arms. This pain is progressive and relentless and is not relieved by resting and taking Nitrates. Other symptoms may occur, including sudden death, cold sweats, nausea and vomiting, extreme fatigue, palpitations. In a few individuals, the pain may be mild or even completely absent, but presence of the other symptoms should alert one to the possibility of the condition. Persons so affected should contact their doctor immediately and remain where they are until help arrives. Under no circumstances should one attempt to drive or walk to the doctor’s office or emergency service. While waiting for help, an aspirin should be taken if vomiting permits. Absolute rest is essential.
Persons with A.M.I invariably need immediate admission to hospital. They will also require or variable period for rehabilitation afterwards. One may need to go through various programmes for the best outcome. The severity of the attack and the types of complications that may have developed determine the programme.