Everything you should know about Heart Attacks

Nurse practitioner Sadie Paez places a pulse oximeter to measure the oxygen level and heart rate of William Merry, who is recovering from pneumonia at his home, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in Ipswich, Mass. Across the U.S., “hospital at home” programs are taking off amid the pandemic, thanks to communications technology, portable medical equipment and teams of doctors, nurses, X-ray techs and paramedics. That’s reducing strains on medical centers and easing patients' fears. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Heart Attacks. We all know the name but what do we actually know about heart attacks?

“A heart attack is caused by cholesterol plaque in the coronary artery that causes a blood clot and clogs the artery…now what contributes to the formation of that plaque is the question?” Dr. Clyde Meckel, with Bryan Heart, said.

The classic symptom of a heart attack is chest discomfort but that is not the only symptom someone may have.

There are several risk factors that could potentially contribute to a future heart attack such as diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, hypertension, but there is also genetics.

Now what can people do to help prevent a heart attack? Dr. Meckel says a regular checkup is a start.

“Getting your cholesterol checked, regular exercise, optimal weight, controlling diabetes if you have diabetes.”

But sometimes a person can have regular checkups and be in the best shape of their lives and still have a heart attack.

“It’s unusual but it does happen, usually if you look back at those cases you’ll find the patient had several risk factors that put him at risk of a heart attack at a very young age, not always but sometimes they have a family history” Meckel said.

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