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Heart Attack



During a heart attack, an artery providing oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart becomes partially or fully blocked and must be reopened quickly to prevent long-term damage or death. The blockage is usually due to a blood clot that forms as a result of plaque buildup inside the artery. Heart attacks may be sudden and intense or start with mild pain that intensifies over time.

During a heart attack, minutes matter. Call 911 immediately to report a medical emergency if you or someone near you exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Chest pressure
  • Upper body pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

Be aware that many women who experience a heart attack report more subtle symptoms than those described by men.

  • Conditions We Treat

    • ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). This type of heart attack is caused by total blockage of a coronary artery. Patients experiencing acute STEMI are at risk for life-threatening, sudden cardiac arrest or a massive heart attack.
    • Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). In this type of heart attack, a coronary artery is partially or almost completely blocked, causing reduced blood flow.
    • Coronary artery spasm. This short-term event occurs when blood vessel walls squeeze and tighten, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood.
  • Why Choose UK HealthCare for Heart Attack Treatment?

    The experts at UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute can rapidly diagnose specific types of heart attack and respond with targeted treatment to preserve heart muscle and prevent death.

    Our advanced coronary procedures include angioplasty, artery stent placement, artery bypass surgery, clot-busting intravenous infusion and medication therapies. Upon release, our patients are referred for cardiac rehabilitation to improve recovery and reduce repeat hospitalizations.

    UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute was the first hospital in the region to allow emergency medical services to bring patients experiencing heart attack symptoms directly to our cardiac catheterization lab to reduce treatment time. Our average door-to-balloon time is consistently faster than the standard set by the American Heart Association, and we have been recognized for our strong performance on achievement indicators and quality of care. We partnered to develop a regional referral system to improve heart health statewide.

    We also provide education to help individuals reduce their risk of heart disease through lifestyle changes.

  • We Are Proof: Real Patient Stories

    Dr. Tom McLarney

    “…With my own EKG in my hand.”

    At age 53, Dr. Tom McLarney was a healthy, active guy and a lifelong runner. But he was also a doctor, so he didn’t completely write off his symptoms, which started with a pop in his chest. 15 minutes later, his jaw started to hurt. That’s when he knew he was in trouble.

    Read Tom’s story »