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Heart Attack

A Restriction or Blockage of Arteries to Your Heart

Mercy Health Heart Centers

In an effort to promote healthy heart living, including the prevention of heart attacks, Mercy Health has three heart centers located throughout West Michigan that offer a complete continuum of coordinated care, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when oxygen-rich blood is restricted or completely blocked from flowing to your heart through the coronary arteries, leaving your heart muscle damaged.

Heart attacks are caused by coronary artery disease that comes from a buildup of plaque in the arteries leading to your heart. Plaque restricts the flow of blood in arteries and can also break off and form a blood clot. If a clot completely blocks the flow of blood to your heart, the heart muscle will begin to die. 

A heart attack is also called "myocardial infarction."

Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Chest Pain (Angina)
  • Discomfort in the arms and back
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Vomiting

  Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Diet
  • Family History
  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • Race and Ethnicity

Learn more about Heart Attacks

Treatment Options

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital, a patient should undergo a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Ideally, preventative measures are put into place to stop a heart attack before it happens, including treating your high blood pressure and cholesterol, low-dose apirin, regular exercise, smoking cessation and weight management.

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