"THE HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)


(Return to Topic Page)

Week: 590.2 

Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Gullette, researcher, Duke University Medical Center 

Topic: What is ischemia? 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: A precursor to heart attack....coming up... 

SPOT: The best emergency is one that doesn’t happen. The National Emergency Medicine Association. Visit us at www.nemahealth.org. 

NEMA: Ischemia...a possible prelude to stroke or heart attack...Dr. Elizabeth Gullette of Duke University...  

GULLETTE: Myocardial ischemia, which is a temporary state in which there is an insufficient supply of blood to the heart...it predicts later heart attacks and things like that. So, it’s an important thing to be following in patients with heart disease.  

NEMA: And ischemia can happen to all of us, during periods of negative emotions or exercise...without symptoms...and can be dangerous in the long run...  

GULLETTE: What is happening is that over time, this constant, recurrent lack of oxygen to the heart can impair the heart’s functioning, and can also damage some of the heart tissue...in fact that is what a heart attack is. A heart attack is just a much more massive...scale ischemic event.  

NEMA: Tracking ischemic events is only possible in trials with heart patients...but Dr. Gullette says learning stress management and regular exercise can help us all prevent ischemia and possible heart damage. I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.