St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
1100 West Stewart Dr, Orange, CA 92868714.633.9111
About Us News Room Careers Contact Us
Find St. Joseph Hospital Services Our Doctors Our Services For Patients For Visitors For Community
Heart and Vascular Center
About Us
Outcomes
Clinical Trials and Research Program
How to Contact Us
Our Achievements
Our Experts
Our Facilities
Patient Testimonials
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Bacterial Endocarditis
Diagnosis
Patient and Family Resources
Patient Testimonial
Specific Congenital Cardiovascular Defects
Symptoms
Treatment
Cardiac Receiving Center
Clinical Trials and Research Program
The Center for Heart and Vascular Wellness and Prevention
About Us
Our Experts
The Dick Butkus Heart and Vascular Screening Program
The Women's Heart Center
Cardiac Rehabilitation
Diagnostic Services
Angiogram
Cardiovascular CT
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac MRI
Echocardiogram
Stress Test / Treadmill
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
Electrophysiology Test (EP)
Endomyocardial Biopsy
Holter Monitor
Nuclear Studies
Tilt Table
Heart and Vascular Diseases
Arrhythmia
Aneurysm
Angina
Atrial Fibrillation
Cardiomyopathy
Chest Pain
Claudication
Congenital Heart Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
Diabetes
Endocarditis
Hypertension
Heart Attack
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Heart Failure
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Sinus Bradycardia
Ventricular Tachycardia
Heart Failure Program
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Patient and Family Resources
Diagnosis
Treatment
Interventional Radiology
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Patient and Family Resources
Interventional Radiology Procedures
Open Heart Surgery
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Patient and Family Resources
Specific Cardiac Defects
Diagnosis
Preparing for Surgery
The Day of Surgery
Activity after Surgery
Preparing for Home - Discharge Teaching
Screening Programs
Valve Heart Center
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Specific Cardiac Defects
Diagnosis
Treatment
Vascular Care
Our Experts
Our Screening Program
Specific Vascular Defects
Glossary of Terms
Women's Heart Center
About the Women's Heart Center
Our Experts
Risk Factors for Women
EBCT
Screening Program

Share this page:

Facebook
Twitter
Google +

Heart Attack

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is caused by a complete blockage of the blood flow to a part of the heart muscle. This usually occurs because a small blood clot forms in one of the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle. The blood clot usually forms where hardening of the arteries has developed in the blood vessel.

The pain of a heart attack usually lasts longer than 10 minutes and often occurs with other symptoms, such as sweating, shortness of breath or nausea. The pain of a heart attack normally will not go away with rest.

Many people mistake heart attack symptoms for other problems, such as indigestion, heartburn or a pulled muscle. It is important to recognize the signs of the early stages of a heart attack and seek emergency care. Early medical treatment is needed to prevent complications and death. Sometimes medications can be given to reduce the amount of heart muscle damage caused by a heart attack.

People with risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) are more likely to have chest pain caused by heart disease. Chest pain in a person without risk factors for heart disease must also be looked at closely to decide whether a heart problem is the cause of the pain.

Elderly people or people with diabetes may not have the usual symptoms of a heart attack. These people may have pain in areas not usually associated with a heart attack or they may not have any chest pain at all. Anyone with conditions and diseases that may increase their risk for a more serious problem needs to be evaluated by a health professional.

Symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort or pain that is crushing, squeezing or feels like a heavy weight on the chest
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain that spreads from the chest to the back, neck, jaw, or to one or both shoulders or arms
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat

Chest pain is a key warning sign of a heart attack. Evaluate this symptom carefully. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.