Acute Coronary Syndrome Overview
Acute coronary syndrome, or ACS, is a medical condition which occurs during the rupture of atherosclerotic plaque, leading to the formation of a thrombus or blood clot. Sufferers of acute coronary syndrome symptoms like diaphoresis and chest pain, are in need of immediate medical attention and evaluation.
When acute coronary syndrome is diagnosed, further classification into categories is made by the attending physician. The type of acute coronary syndrome treatment which is given is determined by this diagnosis. The categories are: ST-elevation myocardial infarction, non ST-elevation myocardial infarction, and unstable angina. Patients suffering from this condition will continue to be at an elevated risk of stroke and heart attack following their recovery. A number of treatments are available to mitigate these risks. Assessment of risk is a critical step in the emergency treatment of this condition. Classfying patients into the different categories of ACS helps guide treatment decisions. A number of classification systems are in place to guide physicians into selecting the appropriate therapies. Patients suffering complete coronary artery blockage can usually be identified by an electrocardiogram. About one in three patients fall into this category.
Treatment for Acute Coronary Syndrome
Acute coronary syndrome treatment will vary, depending on the severity of your symptoms and how obstructed your arteries are. Your doctor will likely recommend medication that can relieve chest pain and restore proper blood flow to the heart. The medications may include: aspirin, nitroglycerin, thrombolytics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers. Aspirin thins the blood and reduces blood clotting, helping restore proper blood flow through blocked arteries. It is one of the first medicines given for acute coronary syndrome treatment in the emergency room. You will probably need to chew the aspirin if it contains a coating, to allow it to dissolve and enter your bloodstream more quickly. You may need to take aspirin daily afterwards. Thrombolytics, also known as clotbusters, dissolve the blood clot that is blocking the flow of blood to your heart. The earlier you receive the drug following a heart attack, the better your odds of survival will be. Nitroglycerin is medication given for chest pain. It widens constricted blood vessels temporarily, improving blood flow to the heart. Beta blockers relax the heart muscle, reducing the stress on your heart. All of these medications reduce the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome.