What Is a STEMI Heart Attack?

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While any type of heart attack is an emergency situation, not all heart attacks are alike. STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, is a more serious type of heart attack that requires the specialized care of a dedicated STEMI Receiving Center like West Hills Hospital. This article will offer a more detailed look at what happens in the ER when patients are experiencing STEMI heart attacks.

STEMI Diagnosis

ST segment elevation refers to a pattern that shows up on an electrocardiogram (ECG), a test measuring the electrical activity of the heart given when a patient arrives in the hospital with heart attack symptoms. Along with a clear pattern on the ECG, STEMI heart attacks may be distinct with gradual symptoms that may begin to manifest well before the actual heart attack takes place.

Immediate Treatment Options

The goal of treating a STEMI heart attack is to restore blood flow either through medication or mechanical procedures like angioplasty. Medication will consist of clot-busting drugs given through an IV, and angioplasty will involve the placement of a catheter at the site of the blockage to remove the clot. With angioplasty, a stent may be placed to keep the artery clear and open, which may promote improved heart health in years to come.

Long-Term Effects

STEMI heart attacks are more damaging because they are caused by complete blockages in the arteries that will not go away on their own. Less severe heart attacks may be related to temporary or partial blockages that might cause less damage to the heart muscle. Because of the more extensive effects of a STEMI heart attack, patients may require more significant lifestyle changes facilitated by cardiac rehabilitation, which begins in the hospital following critical care.

Only about 25% of hospitals are equipped to treat STEMI heart attacks, and West Hills Hospital is among these facilities. Our Heart & Vascular Center is further distinguished with accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers and official designation for specialized emergency care from Los Angeles County. You can learn more about why you should rely on us for your complete cardiovascular care by visiting our website or calling us at (818) 676-4321. 

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