Rapid treatment of heart attacks is crucial to survival

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates: The risk of cardiac complications and even death after a myocardial infarction (heart attack) is significantly elevated if not managed appropriately with rapid treatment, according to healthcare experts ahead of World Heart Day 2017. With cardiovascular disease (CVD) continuing to be the leading cause of death in the UAE, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the region’s leading heart care hospital, has warned that every minute following a heart attack is crucial.

“Time is muscle and for every minute not treating an acute myocardial infarction or heart attack, the heart muscle dies and increases the likelihood of heart failure, arrhythmia, mechanical complications, and even death,” said Ahmad Edris, MD, a Cardiovascular and Interventional Cardiology Consultant at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Heart and Vascular Institute.
“Heart attacks are the cause of one-in-four deaths in the UAE. It is vital that chest pain symptoms are not ignored or underestimated, especially as CVD strikes Emiratis up to 10 years earlier compared with patients in the West.” In April this year, the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi officially designated Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi as a Chest Pain Center. This means that any patient visiting the hospital’s Emergency Department with chest pain symptoms will have access to specialist acute care by consultant-level cardiologists and advanced technology, such as robotic hybrid cardiac surgery.

“We recognize the importance of managing heart attack patients early as it has large implications for patients and society as a whole that deserve the very best treatment,” said Dr Edris. According to recent emergency department data from across the UAE, one-in-five patients who seek hospital treatment for chest pain are found to have an underlying heart condition, such as acute coronary syndrome (an unstable blockage in the coronary artery supplying the heart muscle).

Ahead of World Heart Day on September 29, Dr Edris is urging patients to call the emergency services if chest pain is accompanied by the following symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and a fast or irregular pulse. World Heart Day was founded in 2000 by the World Heart Federation, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, to spread awareness about CVD. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is marking World Heart Day this year with its own theme of “Love Your Heart”. The hospital is commissioning a nationwide survey into the root causes of Emirati heart deaths, to better understand UAE nationals’ knowledge and attitudes regarding CVD.

This article was published on 30/08/2017