Acute Coronary Syndrome: Recognize the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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Acute Coronary Syndrome: Recognize the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Acute Coronary Syndrome: Recognize the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Acute coronary syndrome occurs when blood flow to the heart decreases drastically or suddenly. When they occur, these events can cause a number of heart conditions and require immediate medical attention

In acute coronary syndrome there is a significant blockage in the coronary arteries of the heart, namely the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This event can cause a heart attack and an attack of unstable angina. Both conditions are usually characterized by severe chest pain or discomfort in the chest.

Acute Coronary Syndrome: Know the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment - Alodokter

Causes and Risk Factors for Acute Coronary Syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome is usually caused by atherosclerosis, which is the formation of plaques or cholesterol deposits on the walls of the coronary arteries that block blood flow to the heart.

In addition, acute coronary syndrome can also occur due to the use of certain substances, such as cocaine and nicotine, which can trigger spasm or sudden narrowing of the coronary arteries.

The following factors can increase a person's risk of developing acute coronary syndrome, including:

  • Entering old age
  • Suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Being overweight or suffering from obesity
  • Has a family history of heart disease or stroke
  • Lack of exercise or physical activity
  • Suffering from diabetes
  • Smoking or abusing illegal drugs

Symptoms of Acute Coronary Syndrome to Watch Out for

The most common symptom of acute coronary syndrome is chest pain which is very annoying. The pain can feel like being crushed by a heavy object or an unexplained discomfort. Sometimes, the pain may radiate to the jaw and arm.

A person can indeed experience chest pain that comes and goes. This chest pain is not included in the acute coronary syndrome. Chest pain in acute coronary syndrome usually lasts more than 15 minutes and does not improve with rest.

Some other symptoms that can appear when experiencing acute coronary syndrome are:

  • Cold sweat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache and dizziness like fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

Treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment so as not to cause death. Usually, after being treated in the ER, the patient will also be admitted to the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) for a few days.

Treatment begins with giving oxygen and anticoagulant drugs, such as aspirin and clopidogrel, to prevent blood clots. The doctor will also give nitroglycerin to dilate the heart's blood vessels. If chest pain is still very bothersome, the doctor can give additional painkillers.

Surgery, such as cardiac catheterization or CABG (coronary artery bypass graft), should be considered in cases of acute coronary syndrome accompanied by extensive heart muscle damage, low blood pressure, shock conditions, right heart wall damage, or chest pain persisted after drug administration.

Acute coronary syndrome is a life-threatening emergency. If treated quickly and appropriately, this condition can improve. However, it is possible that this condition can recur. Therefore, prevention is very important to do, especially for those who have or are at risk of experiencing it.

To prevent the occurrence or recurrence of acute coronary syndrome, a heart-he althy lifestyle is needed, namely quitting smoking, eating heart-he althy foods, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining ideal body weight, controlling stress, and exercising regularly.

If you have risk factors for acute coronary syndrome, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes, take the medicines your doctor gives you regularly to keep the disease under control and don't cause acute coronary syndrome.

In addition, check with the doctor regularly according to the specified schedule, so that the condition of heart he alth and overall he alth can always be monitored.

If at any time you feel symptoms of chest pain that do not improve with rest, especially if accompanied by other symptoms that point to acute coronary syndrome, immediately go to the ER to get treatment as soon as possible.

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