How are heart attacks treated?

The goal of treatment is to treat you quickly and limit heart muscle damage. Heart attack treatment begins immediately with medication and treatments to open your coronary arteries.

When a heart attack strikes, the key thing to remember is that time equals muscle. The longer the delay in seeking medical care, the more damage can occur to the heart muscle. There is a window of opportunity to restore blood supply to the heart muscle by unblocking the blocked heart artery.

Treatments must be done in a hospital and include administration of clot-busting drugs to dissolve the clot at the site of the ruptured plaque, cardiac catheterization and angioplasty, in which the blood vessel is opened by balloon, often delivering a stent.

Heart attacks can often be prevented. So part of your treatment may include living a healthier lifestyle. If you don’t get enough exercise, for example, your healthcare team might suggest ways you can make exercise a habit.

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