What Is STEMI?

An ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) heart attack occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery to the heart, making it the deadliest form of heart attack. “ST-elevation” refers to a particular pattern on an EKG heart tracing, and “myocardial infarction” is the medical term for a heart attack. To prevent death, doctors must restore blood flow immediately, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by administering clot-busting medication. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 25,000 Americans suffer a STEMI heart attack each year.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • Pressure or squeezing chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes
  • Pain that spreads from the chest to the shoulder, arm or back
  • Prolonged pain the upper abdomen
  • Increased bouts of chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety

Heart attack symptoms in women may differ or be less noticeable than those in men. In addition to the symptoms above, women may also experience:

  • Abdominal pain or heartburn
  • Clamminess
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

Treatment for STEMI

If you or someone you know is suffering from heart attack symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.

The priority in treating a STEMI heart attack is to open the artery quickly, to preserve as much heart muscle as possible. Treatment options include:

Award-Winning Care for STEMI

When a heart attack occurs, every second counts. Specialists in cardiovascular care at Memorial Hermann are among the very best in the country, delivering a time-to-treatment rate far better than the national average.

AHA Mission: Lifeline Award Winner

Memorial Hermann hospitals, including Larry D. Johnson Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center have all been honored by the AHA with Mission: Lifeline Awards, for their treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

Mission: Lifeline is a coordinated, proactive system of care that turns first responders, hospitals and other health care providers into a team that uses proven guidelines and best practices to treat patients suffering from STEMI and non-STEMI heart attacks.

Accredited STEMI Receiving Center

In addition, Larry D. Johnson Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center has been named as an accredited STEMI Receiving Center by the AHA and the ACC Accreditation Services (formerly Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care), an elite recognition only given to facilities that provide excellent acute cardiac care. The Institute is one of only two hospitals in the Greater Houston area and one of about 60 nationwide to achieve this accreditation, which recognizes facilities that meet or exceed quality of care measures for people experiencing STEMI heart attacks.

Finding Treatment

The innovative team at Memorial Hermann is here to help you find the treatment you need. For more information on diagnostic procedures to minimally invasive treatments for your thoracic condition, fill out the form below or call to schedule an evaluation.

Contact Us

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If you have questions regarding Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular, our cardiologists or treatment facilities, please call (713) 222-2273.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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