A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted. Oxygen cannot get to the heart muscle, causing tissue damage or tissue death.
Heart Attack | Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
A heart attack may be caused by:
The risk of heart attack is greater in males and older adults.
Factors that may increase your chance of developing a heart attack include:
Unusual symptoms of heart attack – may occur more frequently in women:
If you think you are having a heart attack, call for emergency medical services right away.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Your heart function may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken. This can be done with:
Treatment for a heart attack can include:
Within the first six hours after a heart attack, you may be given medications to break up blood clots in the coronary arteries.
If you have severe blockages you may need surgery right away or after recovery, such as:
During recovery, you may need physical or rehabilitative therapy to help you regain your strength.
You may feel
depressed after having a heart attack.
Therapy and medication can help relieve depression.
Preventing or treating coronary artery disease may help prevent a heart attack.
American Heart Association –
National Stroke Association –
About heart attacks. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/AboutHeartAttacks/About-Heart-Attacks%5FUCM%5F002038%5FArticle.jsp. Updated September 2, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115392/ST-elevation-myocardial-infarction-STEMI. Updated July 25, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2016.
What is a heart attack? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartattack/. Updated December 13, 2013. Accessed September 29, 2014.
7/6/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115392/ST-elevation-myocardial-infarction-STEMI: Antithrombotic Trialists' (ATT) Collaboration, Baigent C, Blackwell L, et al. Aspirin in the primary and secondary prevention of vascular disease: collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trials. Lancet. 2009;373:1849-1860.
2/3/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115392/ST-elevation-myocardial-infarction-STEMI: Finkle W, Greenland S, et al. Increased risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction following testosterone therapy prescription in men. PLoS One. 2014;9(1).
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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If you think you could be experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, stroke or similar emergency – or just aren't sure – call 9-1-1 immediately.
If you're looking for more information or have questions about the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, please contact us or speak to your primary care provider.
Learn more about the wide range of cardiovascular conditions and diseases we treat at the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute.
Have heart questions? Need a cardiologist? Contact Wellmont Nurse Connection – 24/7. Get answers and access some of the best heart specialists anywhere.
Or call a nurse: 877‑230‑6877.
Mission: Lifeline – the only recognition we value more is yours. Mission: Lifeline helps ensure prompt, evidence-based care for life-threatening STEMI heart attacks.
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