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Centerpoint Medical Center
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Heart Attack

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted. Oxygen can't get to the heart muscle, causing tissue damage or tissue death. A heart attack may be caused by:

  • Thickening of the walls of the arteries feeding the heart muscle (coronary arteries)
  • Accumulation of fatty plaques in the coronary arteries
  • Narrowing of the coronary arteries
  • Spasm of the coronary arteries
  • Development of a blood clot in the coronary arteries

Symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pain in the left shoulder, left arm or jaw
  • Squeezing, heavy chest pain
  • Sweating, clammy skin
  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness

Copyright © 2009 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

Diagnosis & Testing

Your physician at Centerpoint Medical Center will prescribe diagnostic tests right away to see if you are having a heart attack. He may prescribe diagnostic tests such as:

  • Angiogram
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary angiography
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Myocardial perfusion imaging
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Blood tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress test
  • Nuclear scanning
  • Urine tests

Procedures & Treatments

Your heart care team at Centerpoint Medical Center has a wealth of treatment options available for your heart attack. Treatment of a heart attack may include:

  • ACE-inhibitors
  • Aspirin and other antiplatelet agents
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Clot-dissolving agents
  • Nitrate medications
  • Pain-relief medications
  • Anti-anxiety medication
  • Atherectomy
  • Beta-blockers
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting
  • Oxygen