Often the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack. Take, for example, a recent patient of mine who came in to see me complaining of tiredness and a heavy chest. Surely, he believed, it was nothing more than a side effect of over-work and jetlag from recent travels overseas. It wouldn’t be anything serious ̶ would it? Possibly not, however, I performed an ECG, which was normal, and ordered cardiac-enzyme testing to make sure that we were not dealing with anything serious. Two hours later, the results were in. My patient had raised cardiac enzymes, which are suggestive of damage to the heart muscles.
My diagnosis? An evolving heart attack. A second ECG done after two hours showed new changes, confirming the diagnosis. Fortunately, we acted swiftly and the patient underwent coronary angioplasty and had stents inserted into his arteries. He is now recovering well.