Heart Attack

What is a Heart Attack?

Myocardial infarctions, also known as heart attacks, occur as a result of other cardiovascular disorders, including angina (chest pains) and coronary heart disease. Most commonly, plaque buildup on the walls of an artery becomes disrupted, prompting the body to form a blood clot around the tear or abrasion. The blockage caused by the clot, not necessarily the plaque itself, causes the cessation of blood and oxygen flow to the heart. This is considered a medical emergency and immediate care should be obtained.  Heart attacks can cause serious permanent damage to the heart tissue and about one-third of the one million heart attacks suffered every year in the U.S. are fatal.

How Do I Know If I’m Having a Heart Attack?

Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Severe chest pain or pressure, often described as a feeling of heaviness or squeezing within the chest
  • Pain in other parts of the body, such as the jaw, neck, arm, and back
  • Lightheadedness or a racing heartbeat
  • Sudden sweating
  • Sudden, profound shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. You do not need to be 100% sure that you are having a heart attack to make the call. Seeking help as soon as possible can save your life and reduce the permanent damage suffered by your heart.

Talk to Your Acadiana Cardiologists About Your Heart Health

To schedule an appointment with Heart & Vascular Associates of Acadiana, please contact our office at (377) 534-4356. Our four offices proudly serve patients in the Lafayette community as well as the entire Acadiana region.