A team of doctors in Dubai saved the life of an Indian man who suffered a heart attack while playing cricket.
The 36-year-old man was transferred to Al Tadawi Specialty Hospital emergency unit after experiencing shortness of breath and losing consciousness while playing the game last Sunday.
“He needed intensive and rapid medical intervention. His chances of remaining alive were low as he suffered blood clots that blocked the main artery, [a condition] known as the ‘widow-maker’,” said Marwan Nasir, chief executive of Tadawi Medical Group.
After 30 minutes of intervention, doctors' efforts were rewarded and the patient's heart started beating regularly again.
“He wasn’t suffering any heart diseases before the incident, but he shows signs of myocardial ischemia while practising sports. A team of Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services transferred the patient in minutes and a team of emergency doctors placed a quick plan to save his life,” said Mr Nasir.
When the man's heart stopped beating, doctors used a technique called cardioversion, a medical procedure that uses quick, low-energy shocks to restore a regular heart rhythm.
“We used cardioversion twice to restore his heartbeat in seconds. His arteries were blocked and we made a cardiac catheterisation to treat the clogged arteries,” said Dr Salman Uday, cardiologist at Tadawi Hospital.
The blockage was cleared and doctors placed supports inside the arteries.
“The patient was discharged when his condition was stable after three days of medical treatment. He can practise sports after six weeks,” added Dr Uday.
There are three main arteries in the heart, one on the right side and two on the left side.
Heart attacks occur when blood clots form around plaque that builds on the walls of one or more of those arteries, blocking blood from flowing.
If there is no blood flow to the heart, the heart muscles become deprived of oxygen, causing classic heart attack symptoms like shortness of breath, cold sweats and severe chest pain, tightness or pressure.
A “widow-maker” heart attack occurs when the left anterior descending artery, which supplies blood to the larger front part of the heart, is blocked at its origin.
Doctors advise people to keep the risk of experiencing a heart attack as low as possible by not smoking, staying active, eating a heart-healthy diet and maintaining good sleep habits.