Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people of all racial and ethnic groups. Cardiovascular disease claims more lives than all types of cancer combined. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease, causing 380,000 deaths annually, according to The Heart Foundation. In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. About 720,000 people in the U.S. have a heart attack each year and of those 515,000 are a first time attack with the balance occurring in people who already have had one.
Getting to the emergency room as fast as possible may make the difference between life and death or permanent disability. When in doubt, call 911 and/or have someone take you to the emergency room. The type of heart attack (also called myocardial infarction or MI) you experience determines the treatment necessary. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in one or more coronary arteries reduces or stops blood flow to the heart depriving it of oxygen which leads to death of muscle tissue. The blockage might be complete or partial.
The goal is to restore blood flow as soon as possible to limit any further damage to your heart muscle. You might receive clot dissolving drugs (thrombolysis), balloon angioplasty surgery with placements of stent(s) to open the blocked artery, or, coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG). A hospital that does not have percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may transfer you to a hospital with a cardiac catheterization lab for a diagnostic angiogram to examine blood flow to your heart and test how well the heart is pumping (ejection fraction).This test will result in a determination whether you are a candidate for medical therapy with fibrinolytic agents to restore blood flow, cardiac catheterization or CABG.
If you believe that you or someone close to you were the victims of malpractice because: you weren't properly screened for heart disease; or, you were not referred to an emergency room when you had the symptoms of a heart attack; or, you were improperly discharged from an emergency room without treatment, call Ron Burke at 212-808-8008. For more information click the link below.