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  • What is a heart attack?
  • What is angina?
  • What is a stroke?
  • How do you know if you're having a heart attack?
  • What should you do if you think you're having a heart attack?
  • What is a heart attack?
    A heart attack—or myocardial infarction—occurs when part of the heart muscle is damaged or is deprived of oxygen and dies. The most common cause of loss of oxygen is a blockage in the arteries that carry blood to the heart. This usually occurs due to atherosclerosis, the build up of deposits of cholesterol inside the artery, which can reduce oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart muscle.

    What is angina?
    Angina, or "cardiac" chest pain, is a crushing feeling of tightness in the chest usually associated with physical activity. It may, however, also occur when at rest. It is a symptom of extensive blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. If you think you are experiencing angina, please email us or call 212.686.2220 to arrange for a stress echocardiogram as soon as possible.

    What is a stroke?
    A stroke occurs when a blood vessel supplying oxygen and nutrients to the brain bursts or is clogged by a blood clot. The rupture or blockage deprives the brain of essential blood and oxygen, killing the nerve cells in the affected area within minutes. When those nerve cells die, the part of the body they control stops functioning. This effect is permanent, because brain cells cannot be regenerated or replaced. Because a stroke is caused by problems in the blood vessels, it is considered a cardiovascular disease.

    How do you know if you're having a heart attack?
    Symptoms of heart attack include:

  • Pressure or crushing pain in chest
  • Feeling of tightness in chest (angina), especially if associated with physical activity
  • Sweating, nausea, or vomiting with chest pain or tightness
  • Shortness of breath for more than a couple of seconds
  • A feeling of extremely intense heartburn

  • What should you do if you think you're having a heart attack?
    Do not hesitate! Call for an ambulance immediately. While you wait for the ambulance to arrive, chew one tablet of regular aspirin. (Don't take aspirin if you're allergic to it, though.) Try to go to a hospital that offers advanced care facilities for heart attack victims. (These hospitals will have the latest technology available at all times.)


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