During a heart attack, a blood clot blocks the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart creating an arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat) that causes a decrease in the pumping function of the heart. If not treated quickly, the heart muscle begins to die. The result may be death or severe, long-lasting problems.
Warning signs for a heart attack include:
Treatment is most effective within the first 60 minutes. If someone shows signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Heart attacks occur most often as a result of a condition called coronary artery disease.