ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)


ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a type of heart attack caused by total blockage of one of the coronary arteries that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Acute STEMI is a life-threatening medical emergency also known as sudden cardiac arrest or massive heart attack.


  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mental state
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness or fatigue


  • Be physically active every day.
  • Commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle offers the best way to reduce risk of heart attack.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Follow a nutrient-rich, low-fat diet and avoid sweets, sweetened beverages and red meat.
  • Get regular checkups and work with your physician to reduce high blood cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, lose excess weight, reduce stress and avoid chronic diseases.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.

Risk Factors

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of coronary artery disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking


  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). Measures of cardiac electrical activity can signal the need for immediate treatment.
  • Blood testing. Cardiac enzymes in the blood can confirm a heart attack has occurred and help determine the extent of damage.
  • Cardiac catheterization. This procedure involves threading a catheter tube from a blood vessel in the arm, groin or neck to the heart and using it to inject dye into the blood vessels for enhanced visibility on X-rays called angiograms


  • Coronary angioplasty. If the coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, a balloon may be positioned to open the artery and restore blood flow.
  • Coronary artery stent. In this procedure, a tiny coil is expanded inside the blocked artery to restore blood flow. The coil is left in place to keep the artery open.
  • Coronary artery bypass. During bypass surgery, a vein — usually taken from the patient’s leg or chest — is grafted above and below the blocked section of artery to route blood round the obstruction.
  • Fibrinolytic therapy. This therapy involves the infusion of a medication to dissolve the blood clot and restore blood flow; it is used when angioplasty or stenting is not possible due to lack of time.

Follow-up Care

  • Medications may include antithrombin/antiplatelet therapy, beta-blockers, ACE-inhibitors and cholesterol-lowering agents.
  • After hospitalization, patients are typically referred to cardiac rehabilitation to improve recovery and reduce the need for repeat hospitalizations.