What Is Thrombolytic?

Thrombolytic therapy is the use of drugs to destroy or dissolve blood clots, which are the main cause of heart attacks and strokes. Thrombolytic drugs have been approved for immediate treatment in cases of stroke and heart. The most common drug used for thrombolytic therapy is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), but other drugs can do the same thing.

You may have a better chance of surviving and recovering from certain types of heart attacks if you receive thrombolytic drugs within 12 hours of a heart attack.

Ideally, you should receive thrombolytic medication within the first 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital for treatment.

Thrombolytic role in the treatment of cardiovascular disease

Blood clots can clog arteries that lead to the heart. This can cause a heart attack when part of the heart muscle dies due to lack of oxygen carried by the blood.

Thrombolytic works by dissolving large lumps quickly. This helps restart blood flow to the heart and helps prevent damage to the heart muscle. Thrombolytic can prevent heart attacks that should be fatal.

In some hospitals, doctors perform thrombolytic therapy in the ICU, but in other cases, thrombolytic can be carried out in treatment units that understand treatment and potential complications. Thrombolytic drugs can be administered in two ways: by intravenous infusion, or through a long catheter aimed at clots through an artery or vein. In emergency cases, vascular surgeons often choose the intravenous method because it is faster and safer to do outside the hospital. If the doctor chooses to direct the catheter directly to the clot, the catheter tip can be placed on a blood vessel to the brain, lungs, heart, arm, or leg depending on the location of the clot.

In almost all patients, the drug will return blood flow to the heart. However, blood flow may not actually return to normal and there may still be less muscle damage. Additional therapy, such as cardiac catheterization or angioplasty may be needed.

Your health care provider will determine the decision to give you thrombolytic drugs for heart attacks or not based on many factors. These factors include a history of chest pain and ECG test results.

Other factors used to determine whether you are a good candidate for thrombolytics include:

  • Age (elderly patients have a higher risk for complications)
  • Gender
  • Medical history (including a history of heart attack, diabetes, low blood pressure, or increased heart rate)

Generally, thrombolytics will not be given if you have:

  • Head injuries that have recently occurred
  • Bleeding problem
  • Bleeding boils
  • Pregnancy
  • A recent operation
  • Use blood thinners like Coumadin
  • Trauma
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure

If you are aware of any unusual symptoms after or during the procedure, you should notify the doctor immediately. If you receive thrombolytic therapy in an emergency, you may receive additional treatment for your condition. If you have a heart attack, your doctor may need to examine your heart to see if another artery is blocked. If you have a blocked bypass graft, you may need further treatment or anticoagulants to keep the bypass open.

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