Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
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.
A heart attack may be caused by:
These factors increase your chance of developing heart attack. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Unusual symptoms of heart attack (may occur more frequently in women):
If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 right away.
Tests may include:
Within the first six hours after a heart attack, you may be given medicines to break up blood clots in the coronary arteries.
Other medicines that may be given include those that block the function of platelets.
If you have severe blockages, you may need surgery, such as:
recovery, you may need physical or rehabilitative therapy to help you regain your strength.
You may feel
after having a heart attack.
can help relieve
If you have a heart attack, follow your doctor's
Preventing or treating coronary artery disease may help prevent a heart attack.
American Heart Association
Heart and Stroke Foundation
College of Family Physicians Canada
About heart attacks. American Heart Association website. Available at:
http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/AboutHeartAttacks/About-Heart-Attacks_UCM_002038_Article.jsp. Accessed August 7, 2012.
ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 7, 2012. Accessed August 7, 2012.
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 march 1, 2011. Accessed August 7, 2011.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: 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.
Last reviewed September 2012 by
Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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