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Heart Attack Specialist

South Mountain Cardiology

Cardiology located in Tempe, AZ

Heart attacks remain the leading cause of death in women and men, yet with an early risk assessment and preventive care, most people can prevent them. At South Mountain Cardiology, Nadeem Husain, MD, FACC, Patti Cox, MSN, ARNP, and Kim Munneke, MSN, FNP-C, offer exceptional care, from working with you to prevent a heart attack to performing in-office tests to diagnose heart problems and providing ongoing care after you have a heart attack. To learn more about their heart services, call the office in Tempe, Arizona, or request an appointment online today.

Heart Attack Q & A

What causes a heart attack?

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) happens when the blood flow to your heart stops. As soon as the blood stops, your heart is deprived of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to survive. As a result, heart tissues die, the muscles stop working, and you have a heart attack.

What symptoms signal a heart attack?

Chest pain is the top symptom in men and women. However, the pain varies from severe to mild, and some people don’t have any pain.

In addition to chest pain, other symptoms include:

  • Chest pressure or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder, or upper back
  • Sudden, severe indigestion or heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue (often during the day before the heart attack)

Women are more likely than men to have difficulty breathing, nausea, fatigue, and pain in other parts of their bodies.

At the first sign of symptoms, call 911 immediately so the emergency medical responders can begin life-saving treatment. Don’t put off getting emergency care, and don’t drive yourself to the hospital.

Can I prevent a heart attack?

Most people can prevent heart attacks. South Mountain Cardiology can assess your risk, diagnose problems at an early stage, and give you a preventive care plan to avoid future heart problems. 

Even if you already have heart disease, the team can recommend lifestyle changes and medications that lower your risk of a heart attack.

What happens after a heart attack?

Your initial treatment in the emergency department includes medications, oxygen therapy, and, in many cases, an emergency cardiac catheterization to open the clogged artery and restore circulation.

After you leave the hospital, you start cardiac rehabilitation to support your recovery. The team at South Mountain Cardiology provides comprehensive care, beginning with a thorough check-up and diagnosing heart problems, and continuing with expert management of your heart health.

A key part of your treatment includes meticulous management of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis). Managing your health after a heart attack also involves: 

  • Taking anticoagulant medications
  • Taking anti-clotting medications
  • Lowering high blood pressure
  • Lowering high cholesterol
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Following a healthy eating plan
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Managing stress
  • Stopping smoking
  • Losing weight 

You may need to take one or more medications to manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, or other heart conditions.  

If you need compassionate care for preventing or managing a heart attack, call South Mountain Cardiology or book an appointment online today.