The sound of the word itself brings fear and anxiety to the listener.
So what is a widowmaker?
The widowmaker is one of the deadliest heart attacks that can hit a person. Your heart muscle needs a constant supply of blood to pump properly and this supply is ensured by several coronary arteries. When something blocks the flow of blood in any of these arteries, you have a heart attack. Part of your heart becomes deprived of oxygen and vital nutrients and cells start to die within minutes.
The widowmaker happens when a tight or a total blockage occurs in the left anterior descending artery (LAD), the most important artery
in the front of the heart. The whole artery after the blockage has a compromised blood supply and if not treated, the front wall of the heart dies leading to disastrous consequences such as sudden death. This explains the name “widowmaker,” because it would typically kill you if the artery is not reopened fast enough.
The chances for surviving a widowmaker increase if you recognize the warning signs and seek prompt attention.
What are the symptoms of a widowmaker?
Major symptoms include:
· Chest pain, pressure, and tightness
· Pain in the arms, back, neck, or jaw
· Shortness of breath
· Cold sweats
What are the risk factors?
A widowmaker occurs because of a combination of lifestyle choices and genetic factors that affect your cholesterol levels. Age is a major risk
factor for heart attacks. The older the person, the older the arteries, the higher the risk. Having a family history of heart disease increases the risk
of having a widowmaker. You’re more likely to have a heart attack if you:
· Are overweight or obese
· Have high blood pressure
· Have uncontrolled diabetes
· Don’t exercise
· Are over 45 (men) or 55 (women)
How is it treated?
When a patient enters the ER with heart attack symptoms, doctors quickly perform an electrocardiogram to detect a totally obstructed artery. Then the patient is taken to the cardiac catheterization lab where doctors use balloons and stents to restore blood flow to the heart.
What are ways to prevent a widowmaker?
The best way to prevent any heart attack is diet, exercise, and not smoking.
Image resources :
Please visit my campaign and get to know me.