“Am I having a heart attack?” From the files of the strange and unusual comes this self-test kit for myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack.
For the lay people out there, a heart attack occurs when bloodflow to the heart muscle stops, usually because of a blockage in the arteries around the heart (coronary arteries). (It’s what happened to Bill Clinton, although his heart muscle didn’t die, as it likely had collateral bloodflow from other arteries.) When bloodflow stops, the heart muscle dies. When the heart muscle cells die, they release compounds into the bloodstream which can then be detected on blood draws.
That is the basis for detecting a heart attack by drawing blood. There are some compounds that are specific to the heart, such as troponins that will only go up when the heart muscle is dying. Other enzymes, such as the CK go up with any muscle damage, including the heart.
That is the basis of this new self-test kit for heart attack testing from China Sky One Medical that tries to answer the “Am I having a heart attack?” question at home. It was approved in China in 2007 and recently received European Union clearance as well. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*