Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Recovery, Treatment, and Prevention And

Heart Attack Complications

Heart attack is a major event that can cause multiple health complications. In general, two types of complications may occur after a heart attack. The first takes place pretty straight away (called immediate complications) and the second takes place later (late complications).

Immediate complications

Arrhythmias – Irregular beating of the heart. Your heart either beat too fast or too slowly.

Hypoxemia – Levels of oxygen in the drop to an extremely low level. This is the reason why you experience shortness of breath, coughing and cold sweating.

Cardiogenic shock – Blood pressure drops suddenly such that the heart cannot supply enough oxygen for the body to work adequately.

Pulmonary edema – Accumulation of fluid around or in the lungs is called pulmonary edema. This happens in less than 50% of cases; however, if develops, it can cause breathing difficult.

Myocardial rupture – The heart attack can damage the wall of the heart.

DVT or deep vein thrombosis – DVT occurs when the deep veins of the legs and pelvis develop blood clots that interrupt the flow of blood in the vein. This is usually a late complication that may develop over days to weeks following a heart attack.

Ventricular aneurysm – Formation of a bulge in a heart chamber, known as a ventricle.

Late Complications

Aneurysms – Buildup of scar tissue on the damaged heart wall that often leads to blood clots, abnormal heart rhythms, or low blood pressure. This is again a medical emergency that should be treated immediately.

Angina – Chest pain due to insufficient oxygen supply to the heart

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Congestive heart failure – The heart starts beating very weakly, leaving the patient feeling exhausted and breathless.

Edema – Accumulation of fluid in the ankles and legs – causing them to swell.

Loss of libido – A loss of sexual drive may develop after a few months later, especially in the case of men.

Loss of erectile function – Erectile dysfunction is generally due to a vascular problem. However, it may also develop secondary to depression.

Pericarditis – It is an inflammation of the lining of the heart muscles – causing severe chest pain.

A physician must track a patient for several months after he has had a heart attack and test for any of these possible complications.

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