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Heart Attack Management

Would you know how to recognize heart attack symptoms? A heart attack (Acute Myocardial Infarction) happens when the arteries leading to the heart become blocked and the blood supply is slowed or stopped. This is an emergency that can cause death. It requires quick action. Immediate treatment lessens heart damage and saves lives.

Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person. Not all heart attacks begin with the sudden, crushing chest pain that many people picture when they think of a heart attack. In fact, some heart attacks cause no symptoms at all , especially in people who have diabetes. Women sometimes have different symptoms; a different type of chest and / or abdominal pain.

Heart attack symptoms may begin slowly, causing mild pain and discomfort. They can occur at rest or while you’re active. Depending on your age, gender, and other medical conditions, symptoms may be more or less severe.

The symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain (often described as a crushing, squeezing or burning pain in the centre of the chest and may radiate to your arm or jaw)
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness or faintness
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • cold or clammy skin
  • a gray or very ill appearance

Given that heart attack can occur randomly, it is important that a hospital is able to manage this emergency efficiently and is therefore a good indicator of the quality of the hospital.

 

Quality Indicator

How fast can the patient receive angioplasty upon arrival to the hospital (also known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)?

Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) rates compare favourably with that of other international healthcare institutions’ reports. In fact with each year, IJN has improved on it “Door to Balloon Time”.
The gold standard for treatment of heart attack patients is Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), a treatment that mechanically clears the blocked culprit coronary artery. “Door to Balloon Time” is a key process indicator in that time is really of essence.
A target of less than 90 minutes is recommended. Door to Balloon Time measures how long it takes before a heart attack patient receives Primary PCI or Balloon Angioplasty upon entering the door of the hospital. Naturally, the lower the numbers are better.


The treatment given to a person suspected of having a heart attack is aspirin. Aspirin is a potent inhibitor of blood clots and can decrease the risk of death from the heart attack. This is usually given to heart attack patients who can tolerate the medication.

Since it has the ability to assist the heart attack condition, it is imperative that patients take the aspirin soonest possible especially for Acute Myocardial Infraction (AMI) patients.

Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) rates compare favourably with that of other international healthcare institutions’ reports. In fact for the past two years, IJN has repeatedly scored 100% in the provision of aspirin to AMI patients within 24 hours of hospital arrival.

Quality Indicator

How efficient is the hospital in the prescription of aspirin for AMI patients at discharge?


Long-term recovery from heart attack requires psychological and lifestyle adjustments. Most heart attack survivors take a daily aspirin tablet to thin the blood and help prevent future heart attacks. Other drugs may also be prescribed, depending on the person’s condition.

Data has also proven that efficient prescription of aspirin and other drugs is of great assistance in the management of AMI elderly patients. Aspirin therapy reduce risk of complications (vascular events and mortality) for patients who had suffered a heart attack. Long-term use is for the secondary prevention of subsequent cardiovascular events.

Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) rates compare favourably with that of other international healthcare institutions’ reports. In fact for the past two years, IJN has repeatedly scored 100% in its efficiency in the provision of aspirin to AMI patients at discharge.

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