Definition of "myocardial infarction."
It is irreversible damage to the heart muscle.
An occlusion or narrowing of the coronary artery interrupts blood and oxygen flow to the heart.
An inadequate blood and oxygen supply to the heart causes damage to the heart muscle.
Factors that may increase risk of myocardial infarction.
Diet high in saturated fats.
Age (typically affects males age 50-60 and females 60-70).
History of heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes mellitus.
Signs and symptoms of a myocardial infarction.
Nausea or vomiting.
Can vary from mild discomfort to very severe, crushing pain.
May radiate to neck, arms, shoulder, or jaw.
Unrelieved by rest or nitroglycerin.
What to do if a myocardial infarction occurs.
Stop activity and remain calm.
Call an ambulance and notify physician. (Have the emergency numbers next to the phone.)
The client should sit in the least painful position, which is usually sitting with legs up bent or at the knees.
If the client loses consciousness and no pulse is found, cardiopulmonary resuscitation should begin and continue until trained help arrives.
Measures to prevent a recurrence of myocardial infarction.
Achieve and maintain ideal weight to decreased workload of the heart. (Provide "Weight Reduction" handout.)
Eat diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. (Provide "Decrease Cholesterol" and "Restrict Sodium" handouts.)
Begin with a cardiac rehabilitation program under the guidance of a health professional.
Stop exercise immediately if any pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness is noted.
Progress exercise gradually.
Do not exercise 1-2 hours after eating.
Monitor and control blood pressure.
Learn stress management techniques. (Provide "Relaxation Techniques" handout.)
Avoid tobacco and alcohol, which are stimulants.
Avoid constipation to decrease strain on the heart.
Take medications as ordered, and have regular medical checkups.
Possible complications of myocardial infarction.
Congestive heart failure.
Recurrent myocardial infarction.
Structural heart problems (aneurysm or rupture).