Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center

(801) 507-4701Map5121 S. Cottonwood StreetMurray, UT 84107

Symptoms: Take Immediate Action

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but many heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Don't wait too long before getting help. Signs of a heart attack:

What to do

Quick treatment minimizes heart muscle damage and can save your life!

Clinical Definition

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood through a coronary artery is completely blocked. Most of the time, a heart attack causes permanent damage to your heart muscle, which is why it's also called a myocardial infarction or MI. Myocardial means "heart muscle," and infarction means "tissue death".

Most heart attacks are caused by coronary artery disease (CAD), the buildup of a material called plaque in the coronary arteries. This buildup can eventually block the flow of blood in the artery, or cause blood clots that block the artery. A less common cause of heart attack is a spasm in the artery

Image showing locations of pain for angine or heart attackHeart attack pain can be similar to angina pain (shown in red and orange), but the pain associated with a heart attack is usually more severe and prolonged.

Heart Attack In Depth

Learn more about heart attack from Intermountain's Patient Education Library:

Diagnostic Tests for Heart Attack

  • EKG

    An EKG is a visual record of the spread of electrical impulses through the heart. These electrical impulses initiate the heartbeat.

Treatments for Heart Attack

Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Possible treatments for this condition include:

  • Angioplasty

    Angioplasty is a treatment in which a catheter with a deflated balloon at the tip is inserted into a narrowed artery. The balloon is then inflated at the site of the narrowing to help widen the artery and improve blood flow.

  • Brachytherapy

    Brachytherapy uses radiation to keep blocked heart arteries open. It is usually combined with angioplasty and stent placement.

  • Bypass Surgery

    In bypass surgery, a vein from your leg — or an artery from your chest wall or arm — is used to bypass a coronary artery that is narrowed or blocked by fatty plaque buildup.

  • Stent Placement

    Stent placement is a procedure where a small metal coil or tube is inserted into a narrowed artery to hold it open.

Services and Programs

Services and programs at Intermountain Heart Institute for heart attack patients:

  • Cardiology Program

    Our Cardiology Program focuses on the diagnosis, medical management, and prevention of cardiovascular disease, including the rapid treatment of heart attacks. Our patients are often referred to us from primary care providers for help with conditions such as coronary heart disease (atherosclerosis or narrowing of coronary arteries), heart failure, heart murmurs, peripheral artery disease, structural heart and valve disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arrhythmias, or other cardiac issues.

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