What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is caused whenever the blood flow to cardiac muscle is reduced enough to cause the heart’s beating functions to be reduced, affecting the delivery of oxygen rich blood to the organs and tissues of your body.

Also called a myocardial infarction (MI).

The reduction of blood supply to heart muscle can rapidly damage and destroy heart tissue. This is most often caused when plaque or a blood clot reduces the space inside an artery lowering the amount of blood able to pass through. This reduces blood volume flow and causes pain.

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Unlike other types of muscle and tissue in your body, heart tissue does not regenerate. When it dies it remains dead. This means that if enough heart tissue is destroyed during a heart attack the heart can no longer function. This is why heart attacks are often deadly and treatment for a heart attack should be sought immediately.

A STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) heart attack is a complete blockage of a coronary artery and if untreated STEMI heart attacks are 100% fatal.