Acute Coronary Events

Acute Coronary Events: What You Need to Know

An acute coronary event (ACE) is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. ACE usually occurs due to a blockage in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This blockage can cause a decrease in the heart’s oxygen and nutrient supply, resulting in chest pain or discomfort. If the blockage doesn't clear, it can lead to a heart attack.

Knowing the symptoms and understanding your risk of ACE is important for prevention and treatment. Below are the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of ACE:

Symptoms of Acute Coronary Events

  • Crushing chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in other areas of your body, such as the arm, shoulder, jaw, back, or neck
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness, fainting, or feeling light-headed

Causes of Acute Coronary Events

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of an acute coronary event. CAD is caused by narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries due to plaque buildup.
  • A spasm in the coronary arteries, where the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart become temporarily narrowed, resulting in a decrease in oxygen supply to the heart.
  • Disruption of blood flow due to a blood clot cutting off oxygen to the heart.

Treatment of Acute Coronary Events

  • If time allows, emergency medical personnel will transport you to the hospital, where medical professionals can assess and monitor your condition.
  • Your healthcare provider may perform an emergency angioplasty or other invasive procedure to clear blockages in the arteries.
  • Medication such as nitroglycerin and aspirin may also be used to relieve chest pain.

Prevention of Acute Coronary Events

  • Quit smoking.
  • Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce your risk factors.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Manage stress levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Regularly talk to your doctor.