by kingboma » 11 Jul 2013, 18:59
Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart is starved of oxygen and heart cells die.

A hard substance called plaque in a form of tile can build up in the walls of the coronary arteries. This plaque is made up of cholesterol and other cells.

A heart attack may occur when:

• Blood platelets stick to tears in the plaque and form a blood clot that blocks blood from flowing to the heart. This is the most common cause of heart attacks.
• A slow buildup of this plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries.
The cause of heart attacks is not always known. Heart attacks may occur:

• When you are resting or asleep
• After a sudden increase in physical activity
• When you are active outside in cold weather
• After sudden, severe emotional or physical stress, including an illness

Many risk factors may lead to a heart attack.

Since many people are alone when they suffer heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.

However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.

A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.