Pathophysiology of a Myocardial Infarction

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Submitted By annmkell
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For the purpose of this assignment the author will discuss the pathophysiology of a myocardial infarction and will give an in-depth discussion of one central aspect of care and in this assignment the author has chosen the management of anxiety. Due to word restrictions a brief mention will be given to the other aspects of care. Ischaemia is a term which is used to describe the deficiency in blood supply to any part of the body. In ischaemic heart disease there is a deficiency in the blood supply to the heart muscle which can be caused by an obstruction to, or even a narrowing of the coronary arteries. This in turn reduces the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle. Without an optimum oxygen supply the heart muscle is unable to function efficiently.(Boersma et al 2003)

There are three ways in which an infarction may develop. 1) The narrowing and hardening of arteries is caused by degenerative changes and also the build up of cholesterol and other fatty deposits which occur in the vessel wall. Plaques which then develop and subsequently become ‘calcified or fibrotic’ is through a process known as atherosclerosis. The atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery. The presence of the plaques causes the linings of the artery walls to become roughened and this in turn reduces the size of the lumen and eventually occludes it. As circulation slows down there is a strong possibility of thrombus formation. Should a coronary artery become totally blocked oxygen to the area of muscle concerned will then become cut off and the subsequent damage to the tissue concerned is known as a myocardial infarction. 2) in a partial occlusion by a theroma a vasospasm may occur which can lead to total obstruction 3) an embolis may form due to part of the thrombus breaking away which then flows through the coronary artery where it will…...

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