What is a heart attack?

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when the heart muscle experiences a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow.

The blockage that causes a heart attack is often a result of atherosclerosis—a buildup of plaque made up of fat deposits, cholesterol and other substances.

When a plaque ruptures, a blood clot quickly forms, causing a heart attack.

Heart attack treatment

If you or someone you know shows any of warning signs of a heart attack or is experiencing heart attack symptoms, act immediately and call 911. Immediate treatment for a heart attack is important to preserve heart muscle function.

Treatment plans for patients will be determined by their care team based on age, medical history, type and stage of heart attack and personal preferences. Heart attack treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Intravenous therapy
  • Medication
  • Rest/Lifestyle changes
  • Surgery

Learn more about cardiovascular care