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Hidden heart attcks

October 1, 2013 By Posted by: Gina Baker

4BC Mornings:¬†Professor Daniel Sessler, Chair of the department of outcomes research at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio speaks to Greg Cary. He says his worldwide hospital research reveals a risk that 1 in 11 patients who have had a recent surgery will have a ‘silent’ heart attack. This is a heart attack with no clinical symptoms.

Greg asks Professor Sessler how we can ever know we’ve had a heart attack when we have no symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath? The Professor says most doctors will miss these events unless they do a test for Troponin (a chemical released by injured blood tissue) especially after low blood pressure during surgery that is strongly associated with both kidney injury and heart attacks.

The Professor says most people underestimate the trauma to our body that is associated with any surgery and says that his research shows that of those who have had a silent heart attack post surgery, a further 10% of these will die within 30 days of surgery. He says that at the very least taking one aspirin a day could be helpful for those at risk.

If you are concerned and have just had surgery talk to your GP or specialist.