Heart Attack Introduction

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Heart Attack Introduction (AKA Myocardial Infarction)1

Heart Attack

Heart attack (aka myocardial infarction) is synonymous with unfortunate consequences and possibly death. But, do you really know what it is and what to do if it happens to you or someone you love. Our goal is to provide you with a basic understanding of what a heart attack really is and how to maximize your or your loved one’s chances of surviving one if it occurs.

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is death of a portion of the heart muscle that results from decreased blood flow to that area of the heart. The area of the heart with decreased blood flow does not get enough oxygen to keep the muscle alive. This decreased blood flow is most commonly (~90% of the time) caused by rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque within a coronary (heart) vessel that forms a clot and blocks the flow of blood through that vessel. The area of the heart supplied by that vessel then dies, quickly! A heart attack is an emergency. If you think you are having one call 911 immediately.

Blocked Artery

Learn More

Read on to learn more about common signs and symptoms as well as risk factors.

EMG Health Homepage: Men’s Health Introduction

External Resources: NIH: What Is a Heart Attack?

1. Zafari M. Myocardial Infarction. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/155919-overview#aw2aab6b2b6aa: Medscape Reference; 2012.