Diagnosis of a Heart Attack

Heart attacks are most often diagnosed by health professionals in an emergency room.

Diagnosis of a Heart AttackThe diagnosis of a heart attack is based on your symptoms and test results. However, if you are experiencing any of these heart attack symptoms call an ambulance RIGHT NOW!

The longer you wait to get medical treatment, the greater the likelihood that you will have severe, permanent damage to your heart or even die.

The earlier the treatment, the more likely it is that damage to your heart will be kept to a minimum.

Diagnosis of a heart attack can tell if you have had or are having a heart attack. The tests include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) – checks the heart’s rhythm and can locate the part of the heart where a heart attack might be occurring (or has occurred)
  • Blood test – checks for substances in the blood called biomarkers, which may increase in amount in the blood if heart cells are injured
  • Echocardiogram (echo) – looks for problems with the heart’s pumping action
  • Stress test – looks for blockages in blood vessels and problems with the heart
  • Cardiac catheterization – looks for problems with the blood vessels, heart chambers, heart valves, and heart birth defects
  • Nuclear imaging – looks for damaged areas of the heart and problems with the heart’s pumping action

Treatments are most effective if given within one hour of when the attack begins.
If you have any symptoms, call an ambulance right away!

Related pages:

Treatment
Once it is clear that a person is having a heart attack, immediate treatment usually includes drugs to help open the blocked artery, which restores blood flow to the heart muscle and prevents clots from forming again.

How Can I Tell if I am Having a Heart Attack?
A heart attack is a frightening event, and you probably don’t want to think about it. However, if you learn the signs of a heart attack and what steps to take, you can save a life–maybe your own.

Prevention
There are many things you can do to prevent heart disease and stay healthy. You probably already know what they are …

In this section

Acute Myocardial Infarction aka Heart Attack
Heart Attacks Are More Dangerous in Winter
Heart Attack Prevention
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Heart Attack Treatment
Diagnosis of a Heart Attack – You are here

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