Boyd, Pathology of Internal Diseases

The excruciating pains in coronary thrombosis are akin to those of a severe angina pectoris attack, with the only difference being that while in an angina attack they subside after a short period of time, in coronary thrombosis the pains persist continuously without a letup.

The sharp, excruciating pains that occur in coronary thrombosis or during an angina attack often radiate into the abdomen and may occasionally be mistaken for indigestion, a perforated ulcer, a gallbladder distress, or a diseased pancreas. Under those circumstances, unless the possibility of coronary artery occlusion is kept in mind, it is easy to see how the abdomen may be opened with unfortunate consequences. Boyd warns.

While an attack of coronary thrombosis is of a grave nature, it should not be regarded as hopeless. Many sufferers recover from it and many return to a normal life. The seriousness of the case and the degree of recovery, however, depend upon the extent of involvement and the type of care the patient receives.

Where one of the smaller blood vessels is involved, a smaller area of the heart is affected and the danger is not too great. Where a larger blood vessel is affected, the attack is much more serious and may result in sudden death.

When an artery becomes obstructed, that part of the heart which fails to receive oxygen dies. However, as soon as this happens the body begins to marshal its forces in an attempt to repair the damage. The dead tissue is softened and carried away and the damaged area fills up with scar tissue.

Of extreme interest at this point is the fact that new blood vessels shoot out from adjacent arteries to carry on the work of the damaged artery. This is known 3s collateral circulation, and plays an important role in repairing the damage.

Our task during this critical period is to provide that care which will enable the body to do an effective job of repairing and rebuilding the strength of the heart. However, even when this has been accomplished the job is not completed. The patient must be made to realise how the condition developed and the adjustments he must make to protect him against a reoccurrence.

Sufferers from coronary sclerosis (hardening of the arteries of the heart) are committing a grave error when they fail to recognise the seriousness of their condition and do not make an effort to make the necessary adjustments in their habits of living. They must realise that by neglecting to do this they fail to check the inroads of the disease, and actually expose themselves more readily to a coronary thrombosis. It is amazing to note that even many of those who have already suffered from an attack of coronary thrombosis will disregard these warnings and fail to make the changes that would protect them against a possible recurrence.

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