Heart Attack Manhattan NY

General Information About Heart Attacks

A heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, occurs when a blood clot develops at the site of plaque in a coronary artery and suddenly cuts off most or all blood supply to that part of the heart muscle. If the blood supply is not restored quickly, the heart muscle will begin to die due to lack of oxygen. This can cause permanent damage to the heart and in worst cases, death.

Heart attacks should not be confused with heart failure.  Heart failure is a chronic, long-standing condition in which the heart can no longer pump adequate blood supply for the body’s needs.

Know the symptoms

Symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person. If you think you may be having a heart attack, seek medical help and call 911 immediately.

The National Heart Attack Alert Program notes these major symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Tightness and discomfort in the chest area. Most heart attacks cause pain in the center of the chest, lasting for more than a few minutes. Discomfort may subside for a minutes and then return. The sensation is an uncomfortable pressure, a feeling of swelling, fullness, or a painful squeezing.
  • Pain or discomfort in other areas of the body, including one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. This symptom may occur before any feeling of discomfort arises in the chest, but most often accompanies it.
  • Sweating and nausea. Breaking out in a cold sweat, or experiencing nausea and light-headedness is also common in the advent of a heart attack.

To improve your heart health and prevent a heart attack, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, manage blood pressure and cholesterol, and visit your doctor or cardiac specialist for regular medical checkups.

Remember, if you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.