Tag Archives: Medical Emergencies

How Common Are Heart Attacks?


As attending physician, Dr. Zachary Lutsky cares for people in need of emergent medical attention through several Emergency Departments in Los Angeles. Emergency physicians like Dr. Zachary Lutsky often save patients facing common life or death cardiac events.

A heart attack occurs when the body is no longer able to provide the heart muscle adequate blood to sustain its function. When deprived of blood, muscle cells begin to die, and if too many die, then the heart can no longer pump blood throughout the body, leading to death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States heart attacks occur frequently, about once every 40 seconds. In a 12-month period, there are nearly 800,000 heart attack victims in America. Of those attacks, 580,000 happen in patients who have not had a heart attack before, and about 200,000 happen to people who’ve suffered a heart attack in the past.

Not all heart attacks are deadly. In fact, of the people who have a heart attack each year, only about 14 percent pass away as a result. It’s important if a person exhibits heart attack symptoms that emergency services are called immediately, as prompt medical intervention can save the person’s life.

Heart attacks manifest classic symptoms like pain radiating from the chest into the back, jaw, and neck. During a heart attack, people may also experience shortness of breath and nausea, among other symptoms.

Medical Emergencies – Strokes

Stroke pic
Image: webmd.com

An emergency medicine physician, Zachary Lutsky, MD, has over a decade of experience in treating patients at a level-1 trauma center. While there, Dr. Zachary Lutsky dealt with such life-threatening medical events as strokes.

A stroke happens when blood vessels in the brain either become obstructed such that they cannot supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain or break open, resulting in bleeding in the brain. In either case, the blood isn’t getting where it needs to go, and without that blood, brain cells start to die.

Depending on the vessels impacted, strokes produce differing symptoms. For instance, strokes in the “right brain” may cause vision problems and paralysis affecting the body’s left side. A stroke in the “left brain” may cause paralysis on the body’s right side and speaking problems.

Although people may think of strokes as a brain disease, they’re often caused by health problems related to the circulatory system. Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease raise the risk of having a stroke.