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Patient Education Materials

What is a heart attack?
A heart attack (also called an acute myocardial infarction “acute MI”) is when a blood clot interrupts blood flow in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The heart muscle begins to die. Many patients experience a sensation of chest pressure or chest discomfort when they are having a heart attack. However, some patients will experience different types of symptoms. If you think that you are having a heart attack, it is critical to call 911.

Who suffers heart attacks?
Individuals who are more prone to heart attacks are people who develop clogging of the arteries of the heart, a condition called coronary artery disease. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes are frequent causes of developing coronary artery disease that can develop into a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

What are the symptoms of heart attacks?
Symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person. Some of the common symptoms are chest pain, squeezing pressure in the upper body, pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach, nausea or indigestion, vomiting, lightheadedness or fainting, and/or breaking out in a cold sweat.

What is the treatment for heart attacks?
Patients who suffer from a heart attack will undergo further evaluation such as cardiac catheterization. There are several methods that are used to treat patients who are having a heart attack including coronary interventions (angioplasty and stent placement or coronary bypass surgery) and medications (clot-busting drugs or thrombolytic therapy).Aspirin is a critical medication for preventing heart attacks because it helps in decreasing the formation of clots.

Common Symptoms:
  • Chest Pain
  • Upper Body Pressure
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Pain in neck, back, jaw or stomach
  • Nausea or Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Cold Sweat

Corresponding Treatments:
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Coronary Intervention
  • Angioplasty and Stent
  • Clot-Busting Drugs
  • Thrombolytic Therapy