Heart Attack (AMI)

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

Learn more about the causes and risk factors of heart attack (AMI) or find out how to prevent it.

Copyright © 2009 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.