A myocardial infarction (MI) is commonly known as a heart attack. An MI occurs when the heart is deprived of oxygen due to a blockage in the coronary arteries. The blockage is often a result of atherosclerosis— a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, which form a plaque in the coronary arteries. When a plaque ruptures, it creates a thrombosis that blocks the blood flow that carries oxygen to the heart muscle.
Heart Attack Signs & Symptoms
Common MI signs and symptoms include:
- Increasing chest pain or discomfort
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating, clammy skin, or paleness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid or irregular pulse
Treatment Options for MI
Treatment for an MI will be determined by the type of heart attack you experience. An ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) means a complete blockage of a coronary artery has occurred. A non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction means only a partial blockage occurred. Your doctor will also take into account symptom start time and compare that to when you were able to access healthcare when considering your treatment plan. Standard heart attack treatment options include:
- Artificial heart valve surgery
- Bypass surgery
- Heart transplant
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Stent procedure
- Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR)
If you or someone you know exhibit any of the above warning signs, dial 911 immediately. Chances of surviving a heart attack are improved when an individual recognizes the symptoms early and seeks medical attention.
Learn more about the heart-healthy services we provide at Baptist Health by requesting an appointment with our cardiology team.