Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is when the blood supply to the heart is compromised because the coronary arteries are blocked. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Even though ACS is mainly linked with heart attacks, it can lead to long-term stroke risk.
In this blog, we’ll explore the link between ACS and stroke risk, how this condition can increase the likelihood of stroke over time, and how an individual with basic life support certification can help you deal if someone near you is experiencing a stroke.
To understand the link between ACS and stroke risk, it’s essential to understand how ACS affects the blood vessels. ACS happens when there’s a plaque buildup in the arteries, which usually causes the arteries to become narrow, ultimately reducing blood flow to the heart. This can also lead to the formation of blood clots, which can cause a heart attack because of the blocked artery.
However, ACS doesn’t only affect the arteries that supply blood to the heart, but it can also affect different blood vessels throughout the body, including those that supply blood to our brain. The blockage or narrowing of these blood vessels can decrease blood flow to the brain and increase the risk of stroke.
Inflammation is one of the most important key factors in the progression and development of ACS. When the blood vessels’ lining is damaged, white blood cells (WBCs) are sent to that part for damage repair. This process can cause inflammation, making the blood vessel walls less elastic and thicker.
The inflammation caused by ACS can also lead to the formation of blood clots, blocking the blood vessels in the brain and increasing the stroke’s risk. In addition, the chronic inflammation associated with ACS can destroy the blood vessels over time and increase the risk of stroke in the long term.
In addition to the impact of inflammation on the blood vessels, other risk factors associated with ACS can increase the likelihood of stroke. These risk factors include the following:
· High Blood Pressure
· High Cholesterol
High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can increase the risk of plaque buildup and damaging the blood vessels, while smoking can increase the risk of blood clots and damage the blood vessels’ lining.
While ACS can increase the long-term risk of stroke, you can take some steps to manage and prevent the risk. The key is to manage the underlying risk factors associated with ACS, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking.
Making lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking, can help reduce the risk of ACS and stroke. In addition, your physician may prescribe medications such as antiplatelet drugs, statins, and anticoagulants to reduce the risk of blood clots and manage cholesterol levels.
Regular medical check-ups and monitoring can help manage and identify any underlying risk factors for ACS and stroke. Working with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized plan for reducing the risk of ACS and stroke based on individual risk factors and medical history is important.
When a stroke occurs, every second counts. The faster medical attention is given, the better the chances of reducing the risk of long-term disability and minimizing the damage. BLS instructors suggest that individuals take immediate action at the first sign of stroke, which includes calling emergency services and providing basic life support to the person experiencing the stroke.
Basic life support (BLS) training equips individuals with the skills and knowledge to provide emergency support and care in situations like strokes. Here are some reasons why enrolling in BLS certification is important for individuals who want to be able to help someone going through a stroke:
One of the most important aspects of BLS training is learning to recognize the signs of stroke. Early recognition and intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome for a person experiencing a stroke. BLS training teaches individuals to look for signs and symptoms such as:
· Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, leg, or arm
· Sudden vision changes
· Trouble speaking or understanding speech
Recognizing these symptoms can quickly get the person to a hospital for treatment.
A stroke can sometimes cause a person to stop breathing or experience cardiac arrest. BLS training teaches individuals how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to keep the person alive until emergency services arrive. This skill is crucial for maintaining appropriate oxygenation and blood flow to the brain and other vital organs, which can help minimize the risk of long-term damage or disability.
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart, restoring its normal rhythm when a person goes into cardiac arrest. BLS training teaches individuals how to use an AED and perform defibrillation in emergencies. When combined with CPR, an AED can increase the likelihood of survival for a person experiencing cardiac arrest.
In addition to providing physical support, BLS training teaches individuals how to provide emotional support to stroke patients and their families. A stroke can be a traumatic experience, and patients may be confused, frightened, or disoriented. BLS training emphasizes the importance of reassuring and remaining calm while waiting for emergency services to arrive. This can help reduce the patient’s anxiety and improve their overall well-being.
CPR, ACLS & PALS Training Institute offers numerous first-aid and cpr and first aid training, where instructors offer hands-on training to tackle a medical emergency such as a heart attack or a stroke. They also provide basic life support, ACLS, and pals certification online.
Take a look at their calendar and register for their upcoming class today.
Will S. is a highly experienced cpr & aed training and first aid instructor certified by the American Heart Association. With over fifteen years of experience, he’s committed to helping his students save numerous lives.