Understanding Heart Attack a.k.a. Myocardial Infarction (MI)

If you have any chest pain that is new or unusual, ALWAYS seek immediate medical attention!  Call 911. Do not drive yourself or have someone drive you.
If you are with someone who is having chest pain, do NOT listen to them if they refuse medical attention as denial and embarrassment are signs of something very wrong going on.  Call 911.
Most heart attacks are the result of coronary artery disease, also known as atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries,” a condition that clogs coronary arteries with fatty, calcified plaques over time. The typical trigger for a heart attack is often a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery.  Small plaque ruptures can cause a serious or fatal heart attack.

Go to this is a great video of what happens during an MI.

Risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle: less than 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise
  • Unhealthy diet: eating foods that contain any trans fats, high amounts of saturated fats, high levels of sodium.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL and triglyceride levels
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Stress
  • Age (over 45 for men and over 55 for women)
  • Family history (If any immediate family members—parents, brothers, sisters—have had a heart attack, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.)

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women.


About the Author:

Connie Jorsvik
Connie Jorsvik, BSN, Owner Connie Jorsvik was an RN for 25 years—15 of that in cardiac critical care—and left her profession because of her own health challenges. During the years she was a nurse, she was always a patient advocate above all other duties she performed. She saved many lives because she stood up to physicians; because she was meticulous in her care and observations; and worked to never-ever take short-cuts with policies, procedures and protocols (they’re there for a reason).