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Heart Attack

Heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction, occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow through the coronary artery causing a section of the heart muscle to die or get damaged because of reduced blood supply.

The blockage is often a result of atherosclerosis – a buildup of plaque composed of fat deposits, cholesterol, and other substances. When a plaque ruptures, a blood clot quickly forms. The blood clot is the actual cause of the heart attack.

If the blood and oxygen supply is cut off, muscle cells of the heart begin to suffer damage and start to die. Irreversible damage begins within 30 minutes of blockage. The result is dysfunction of the heart muscle in the area affected by the lack of oxygen or cell death.

Risk factors for heart attacks fall into two categories: Inherited or genetic risk factors, beyond one’s control; or acquired risk factors based on lifestyle choices such as smoking, poor diet and inactivity. Managing your risks for a heart attack begins with examining which of the risk factors apply to you, and then taking steps to eliminate or reduce them.

Heart attack symptoms may include severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, and that may not be relieved with nitroglycerin. Chest pain may also occur with sweaty, cool, clammy skin; shortness of breath; nausea or vomiting; dizziness or fainting.

The goal of treatment for a heart attack is to relieve pain, preserve the heart muscle function, and prevent death. Treatments may include cardiac medication (beta blockers), clot-dissolving medications and in some instances, procedures such as coronary angioplasty and coronary artery bypass to restore blood flow.

Previous Page Last Review Date: August 14, 2019
Heart Attack Team
Rahul Aggarwal, MD

Rahul Aggarwal, MD

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Jupiter 33458
Vitalie Crudu, MD

Vitalie Crudu, MD

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Miami 33150
Miguel  Diaz, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Miguel Diaz, MD, FACC, FSCAI

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Hialeah 33016, Miami 33133
Mark Fisher, MD, FACC

Mark Fisher, MD, FACC

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Delray Beach 33484
Eric H. Lieberman, MD, FACC

Eric H. Lieberman, MD, FACC

Cardiology
Delray Beach 33484, Delray Beach 33484
Ricardo L. Machado, MD, FACC

Ricardo L. Machado, MD, FACC

Cardiology
Hialeah 33016
Brijeshwar Maini, MD, FACC

Brijeshwar Maini, MD, FACC

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Delray Beach 33484, Palm Beach Gardens 33410, Lauderdale Lakes 33313, West Palm Beach 33409
Jose L. Marquez, MD, FACC

Jose L. Marquez, MD, FACC

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Miami 33133
Jose R. Pinero, MD, FACC

Jose R. Pinero, MD, FACC

Cardiology
Hialeah 33016
Jaime J. Sanchez, MD, FACC

Jaime J. Sanchez, MD, FACC

Cardiology
Hialeah 33016
Jonathan J. Vafai, MD, FACC, FASE

Jonathan J. Vafai, MD, FACC, FASE

Cardiology
Delray Beach 33484, Delray Beach 33484
Craig D. Vogel, DO, FACC, FACP

Craig D. Vogel, DO, FACC, FACP

Cardiology
Jupiter 33458
Arthur P. Weiner, MD, FACC

Arthur P. Weiner, MD, FACC

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Delray Beach 33484