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Over dose of drug, can it cause heart attack? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3631 Questions
User :   If someone is a come for a drug overdose can they have a heart attack while in coma? If so how to the doctors treat it? It is more likely to have heart failure while in a coma? If so how is it treated?
Doctor :   Hi,
User :   hello
User :   did you recieve my question?
Doctor :   firstly i would like to tel that , heart attack is a emergency ( chest pain ) and that is due to insufficient blood supply to the muscles of the heart
Doctor :   and the heart failuer is a chronically acquired situation , where the heart looses its pumping ability slowly over time due various causes
User :   ok but is it possible to have a heart attack while they are in a coma?
User :   hello?
Doctor :   yes, it is possible
User :   how likely is it?
Doctor :   but a continue monitoring ( ECG) has to be done to know whether a patient in coma gets an heart attack
Doctor :   Not all comatose patients get heart attack , the age , preexisting cardiac illness determine the chances of heart attack
User :   so if he is in a coma how likely is it that he will have a heart attack...he has a heart codition and had a heart attack 6 months ago
User :   sorry 6 months ago
Doctor :   yes, since he will be in rest during in coma , the chances of getting an heart attack would be less than that when he is not in coma
User :   ok so it is possible based on his previous heart problems...he could have a heart attack while in a coma....its not unreasonable? right?
Doctor :   it is unreasonable
Doctor :   since coma i a state where there will be very less load on the heart , the possibility can be expected less
User : just said it was unreasonalbe?
User :   what is a likely complication while in a coma because of an overdose?
Doctor :   it depends on the the drug which was taken in excess
Doctor :   i am sorry i meant not unreasonable..*
User :   herion and whatever a vetrinarian used to put animals to sleep
User :   is why he is in a come
User :   does that help?
Doctor :   here the complications which could be expected are memory loss , behavioral changes if recovered from coma
User :   what about while in a coma?
Doctor :   a liver damage could be a expected complication
User :   also, if he has a heart attack while comatose....what kind of treatment would the doctors give him? Bypass surgery or just monitoring?
Doctor :   By pass surgery may be needed on the severity of the block inthe heart
Doctor :   which is evaluated by a ECG , and an Angiogram
User :   Ok and if its not bad enough to do a bypass..then what? They can do bypass while in acoma?
Doctor :   If its not severe the he would be placed on medications ( anticoagulants ) , and thrombolytic techniques can also be used if in case of moderate block
Doctor :   and yes , if need arises and the patient condition cooperates in severe cases a by pass or a angioplasty could be a choice , and life saving
User :   ok that makes it true that the longer he s in a coma the less likely he will wake up?
Doctor :   yes, you are right
User :   and increases the probablity that there will be long term effects?
Doctor :   yes, could be considered
User :   what kind of ong term effects?
Doctor :   complications of immobility ,
Doctor :   brain damage , leading to autonomic failure
User :   what is autonomic failure
Doctor :   i mean the involuntruy , respiration , digestion etc
Doctor :   altered function in above processes
User :   by involuntary what do you mean?
Doctor :   the processes which are not in our control
User :   ok last question...maybe! How long does it take the doctors to determine the severity of the heart a ttack and if bypass or an angioplast is needed? If needed do they do it immediatly? What would be the effects after the surgery was finished?
User :   and he was still in a coma?
Doctor :   it will take no time if his cardiac activity is monitored by ECG
Doctor :   yes, the action will b immediate if diagnosed
User :   then what about after?
Doctor :   the effects after surgery will depend on the severity of the attack and the success of the surgery
User :   ok whats thhe difference bt bypass and agioplasty?
Doctor :   well when in coma after surgery , he will be strictly monitored for the wellbeing of the heart
Doctor :   bypass is a open heart surgery
User :   And how long do both take to complete?
Doctor :   andgioplasty is done by passing a wire through a blood vessel reach the heart and solve the block
User :   ok and the recuperation time is less right?
Doctor :   the duration of the procedures still depend on the degree of the block and the sites involved

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