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Avandia Heart Attack Lawsuit

Avandia Heart Attack Lawsuit

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is the blockage of blood flow to a part of the heart that causes the death of heart cells.

The heart requires a continuous supply of oxygen-rich blood for its normal functioning. The heart received its own blood supply from blood vessels called coronary arteries. A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery is blocked by a blood clot and the blockage restricts or completely cuts off blood flow to muscle tissue in an area of the heart. When oxygen and blood supply to heart cells is not restored quickly, a heart attack causes the death of muscles in the heart. Scar tissue forms in place of heart tissue that has died as a result of a heart attack.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart attack is a leading cause of death in the United States. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Heart attack symptoms must not be ignored. The sooner effective heart attack treatment is started, the better the outcome for the patient. Recognizing heart attack symptoms when they occur and receiving emergency treatment without delay can reduce the chance of death and help minimize or prevent permanent disability. The most common signs and symptoms of heart attack include:

  • Chest pain, often radiating to the left arm, shoulder, back, or to the left side of the neck or jaw;
  • Pressure, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of the chest (form mild discomfort to severe pain) that lasts for more than a few minutes;
  • Shortness of breath (with or before chest pain or discomfort);
  • Sweating (breaking out in a cold sweat);
  • Pain to the upper abdomen;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting; and
  • Feeling lightheaded or fainting

Women may suffer additional or different heart attack symptoms such as having clammy skin, becoming unusually tired, or suffering unexplained feelings of fatigue.

A “silent heart attack” occurs without any chest pain or other common heart attack symptoms.

Emergency Treatment of Heart Attack

The goal of heart attack treatment is to restore blood flow to the heart by removing the blockage of the coronary artery.

Some heart attack treatments may be started immediately when a heart attack is suspected, even before a diagnosis of heart attack is confirmed. These treatments include oxygen, aspirin and nitroglycerine.

After a heart attack diagnosis is confirmed, both medical and surgical treatments may be used to restore the blood supply to the heart. Drugs used in the emergency treatment of heart attack include thrombolytics (clot-busters), beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, anticoagulants (blood thinners), and antiplatelet medicines (to decrease platelet aggregation and thrombus formation). If medicines alone do not quickly and effectively remove coronary artery blockage, angioplasty may be used. This non-invasive surgical procedure involves threading a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon at the end through a large blood vessel in the thigh (femoral artery) to the blocked coronary artery. Upon reaching the site of the blockage, the balloon is inflated to push the clot against the wall of the artery and restore the flow of blood through the artery. Once blood flow is restored, a small mesh tube may be placed in the artery to help prevent future blockage.

In rare cases, surgeons may perform emergency heart bypass surgery at the time of a heart attack. This treatment requires open-heart surgery. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is a surgical procedure in which blood vessels from other parts of the body are attached (grafted) to a blocked coronary artery and go around (bypass) the blockage to restore the blood supply to the heart. Bypass surgery is performed with the heart stopped. CABG surgery usually is not performed as an emergency heart attack treatment. In most cases, doctors suggest giving the heart time to heal and recover after a heart attack before recommending heart bypass surgery.

Heart attack prognosis?

Over 1 million people each year have heart attacks in the United States. Nearly half of them do not survive. Heart attack is a leading cause of death for both men and women.

Damage due to scar tissue forming in place of heart tissue that has died as result of a heart attack can be severe and permanent. Heart damage from scarring increases the risk that a heart attack survivor will suffer ventricular fibrillation, a cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) that can cause death, and heart failure.

People who have suffered a heart attack are at greater risk of having another heart attack. To reduce the risk of a having a second heart attack, doctors may prescribe medications and recommend heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

Avandia Heart Attack Lawsuit Settlements Attorney

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