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Myocardial infarction

What is a myocardial infarction?

Myocardial infarction is the consequence of the obstruction of a coronary artery following the formation of a blood clot, a part of the heart is no longer irrigated. It corresponds to the death of a part of the heart muscle.

Cardiovascular diseases, and particularly heart attacks, are still the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Belgium.
Every year, there are about 15,000 cases of heart attacks in our country, of which almost half are fatal (49% in men, 55% in women).

The preconceived notion that this silent killer only targets the “old” is obviously false, as “young” people are not spared. In fact, almost a quarter of the first heart attacks occur in men before the age of 55. One third are fatal.

Symptoms that should raise a red flag

  1. Constrictive chest pain in the thorax, with possible radiation to the neck, back, jaw
  2. Pain or discomfort in the left shoulder or left arm
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Intense fatigue
  5. Anxiety, nausea, vomiting

It is essential to recognise these emergency signals from the body. All too often, the victim downplays the symptoms, thinking it’s a bout of fatigue that a little rest should take care of.
In the meantime, precious minutes can pass, when it is better to call for help once too often than too late.

At the slightest suspicion of a heart attack, there is only one thing to do:

call112, the European emergency number.

Every minute counts!

The faster the intervention, the less damage to the heart muscle and the higher the chances of survival.

Any delay is time lost if it is a heart attack, and in this case every second that passes is a little more heart muscle that dies.
When the area destroyed is very large, the subject can die suddenly.

Can a heart attack be prevented?

For the most part, yes! Some risk factors such as age, gender, personal or family history are beyond your control.
Other factors are not: smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, lack of physical activity and being overweight.