Be a Part of the Plan! Public education is an important part of Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis plan. Knowing what a STEMI is and how to respond can make a profound difference for yourself and others. According to the American Heart Association, someone in the United States has a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, every 40 seconds. Heart attacks are usually caused by blockage in a coronary artery. The blockage reduces blood flow and oxygen supply to your heart muscle, and the muscle begins to die. Cardiologists often say, “Time is muscle,” meaning that the longer a blockage goes untreated, the more the heart gets damaged. An ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, is a type of heart attack with a higher risk of death or disability. A STEMI is caused by a complete blockage in a coronary artery. It can be detected on a 12-lead electrocardiogram, or EKG. STEMIs require immediate treatment, including clot-busting drugs and cardiac catheterization. An interventional cardiologist and a team of specially trained technicians and nurses use special medical devices to find blockages and open up blocked blood vessels. Patients may also require surgery to improve blood flow to the heart.
If you suspect you or someone else may be having a heart attack, call 911. Emergency medical services staff can start treatment as soon as they arrive and take you to a facility equipped to provide the level of care needed.
diabetes, coronary artery disease, and physical inactivity. Some risk factors, like your age, sex, race ,and family history, are beyond your control, but you can address most risk factors for heart disease through lifestyle changes and medical treatment.
Learn the signs.
See your primary care provider.
Heart attack symptoms usually include: • Chest pain or discomfort. Some describe the sensation as crushing or squeezing. • Pain may also spread to your neck, back, shoulder, left arm, or jaw. • Sweating • Nausea or vomiting • Fatigue • Shortness of breath • Flu-like symptoms • Dizziness • Feelings of doom Women are more likely than men to experience other symptoms of heart attack, such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, or pain in the jaw or back.
Don’t ignore symptoms.
Even if you’re unsure it’s a heart attack, it is better to get checked out. Every minute matters during a heart attack, so act fast – your life may depend on it!
Know your risk.
Risk factors for heart attack include a history of smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity,
Get regular check-ups. Talk about your risk factors and ways you can manage your cholesterol, blood pressure, or weight.
If you smoke, quit. Exercise.
Even 10 minutes of walking a day makes a difference if you’ve been inactive.
Eat a healthy diet.
Eat a diet with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products. Eat fewer processed foods or foods high in sodium.
If you have survived a heart attack • Take all medications properly. Ask your health care team if you have questions about when or how to take medication. • Keep your follow-up doctor appointments. • Participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program to help you recover. • Get support. It’s common to feel overwhelmed, fearful, or depressed after surviving a heart attack. • Manage risk factors with medical care and lifestyle changes.