The chances of surviving a heart attack have never been better, thanks in large part to advancements in intervention not only at the hospital, but in the ambulance as well. Still the facts surrounding heart attacks are sobering. According to the American Heart Association:
A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, can often be fatal. Studies show that almost 38% of people who experience a heart attack in any given year will die from it.
A heart attack occurs when one or more of the arteries supplying your heart with oxygen-rich blood (coronary arteries) become blocked. Over time, a coronary artery can narrow from the inside due to a buildup of a fatty substance call plaque. This condition is called coronary artery disease (CAD), the major underlying cause of heart attacks.
A heart attack is actually the end of a process that typically evolves over several hours. With each passing minute, more heart tissue is deprived of blood and deteriorates or dies. However, if blood flow is restored in time, damage to the heart can be limited and even prevented.
People often take a wait-and-see approach, delaying because they: