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  • Myocardial infarction

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    Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often present without chest pain and instead have neck pain, arm pain, or feel tired. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest. Most MIs occur due to coronary artery disease. Risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, and excessive alcohol intake, among others. The complete blockage of a coronary artery caused by a rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque is usually the underlying mechanism of an MI. MIs are less commonly caused by coronary artery spasms, which may be due to cocaine, significant emotional stress, and extreme cold, among others. A number of tests are useful to help with diagnosis, including electrocardiograms (ECGs), blood tests, and coronary angiography. An ECG, which is a recording of the heart's electrical activity, may confirm an ST elevation MI (STEMI) if ST elevation is present. Commonly used blood tests include troponin and less often creatine kinase MB. Treatment of an MI is time-critical. Aspirin is an appropriate immediate treatment for a suspected MI. Nitroglycerin or opioids may be used to help with chest pain; however, they do not improve overall outcomes. Supplemental oxygen is recommended in those with low oxygen levels or shortness of breath. In a STEMI, treatments attempt to restore blood flow to the heart, and include percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), where the arteries are pushed open and may be stented, or thrombolysis, where the blockage is removed using medications. People who have a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) are often managed with the blood thinner heparin, with the additional use of PCI in those at high risk. In people with blockages of multiple coronary arteries and diabetes, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) may be recommended rather than angioplasty. After an MI, lifestyle modifications, along with long term treatment with aspirin, beta blockers, and statins, are typically recommended. Worldwide, about 15.9 million myocardial infarctions occurred in 2015. More than 3 million people had an ST elevation MI and more than 4 million had an NSTEMI. STEMIs occur about twice as often in men as women. About one million people have an MI each year in the United States. In the developed world the risk of death in those who have had an STEMI is about 10%. Rates of MI for a given age have decreased globally between 1990 and 2010. In 2011, a MI was one of the top five most expensive conditions during inpatient hospitalizations in the US, with a cost of about $11.5 billion for 612,000 hospital stays.

  • Causes of cancer pain

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    Cancer pain can be caused by pressure on, or chemical stimulation of, specialised pain-signalling nerve endings called nociceptors (nociceptive pain), or by damage or illness affecting nerve fibers themselves (neuropathic pain).

  • Humerus fracture

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    A humerus fracture is a break of the humerus bone in the upper arm. Symptoms are pain, swelling, and discoloration of the skin at the site of the fracture. Bruising appears a few days after the fracture. The neurovascular bundle of the arm may be affected in severe cases, which will cause loss of nerve function and diminished blood supply beneath the fracture. Proximal and distal fractures will often cause a loss of shoulder or elbow function. Displaced shaft and distal fractures may cause deformity, and such shaft fractures will often shorten the length of the upper arm. Humerus fractures usually occur after physical trauma, falls, excess physical stress, or pathological conditions such as tumors. Falls are the most common cause of proximal and shaft fractures, and those who experience a fracture from a fall usually have an underlying risk factor for bone fracture. Distal fractures occur most frequently in children who attempt to break a fall with an outstretched hand. Fractures of the humerus may be classified by the location into proximal region, which is near the shoulder, the middle region or shaft, and the distal region, which is near the elbow. These locations can further be divided based on the extent of the fracture and the specific areas of each of the three regions affected. Most humerus fractures are nondisplaced and will heal within a few weeks if the arm is immobilized. Severe displaced humerus fractures and complications often require surgical intervention. In most cases, normal function to the arm returns after the fracture is healed. In severe cases, however, function of the arm may be diminished after recovery.

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