Heart Attack

Although a heart attack can be fatal, you can manage your risk and fully recover with the latest medical advances. At the Wake Forest Heart & Vascular Center, our expert team provides superior care for patients at any stage of heart disease. 

What is a Heart Attack? 

A heart attack happens when blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is cut off or severely reduced. The blockage occurs in the coronary arteries and causes the portion of the heart that isn’t getting enough blood to begin to die, if not treated quickly. A heart attack can lead to: 

Risk Factors and Symptoms of a Heart Attack 

Our cardiac team at Wake Forest Baptist includes heart doctors (cardiologists) and nurse specialists. Together, we work to uncover your risk factors for heart attack, including: 

The most common warning sign of a heart attack is chest pain. Other symptoms of heart attack may include: 

  • Pain, pressure, squeezing or fullness in the chest, arm or below the breastbone 
  • Pain or discomfort radiating to the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach 
  • Feeling of indigestion, heartburn or choking 
  • Shortness of breath, fatigue or extreme weakness 
  • Sudden excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting or dizziness 
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat 

Women experience different symptoms than men when suffering a heart attack. Learn more about our women’s heart health services. 

Diagnosing a Heart Attack 

We use the latest equipment and techniques to diagnose your condition and prevent further damage to your heart. First, we examine you for signs and symptoms and take your medical and family history into account. 

Your physician may recommend any of the following tests to confirm a heart attack: 

Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis at Wake Forest. 

Heart Attack Treatment at Wake Forest 

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has a Level I Trauma Center – that means we have the advanced technology and specialized team necessary to dream all life-threatening conditions, such as heart attack. Our expert triage team immediately accesses every patient and begins immediate treatment, which may include: 

  • Medications: Blood thinners (anticoagulants) or clot-busting drugs (thrombolytics) 
  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention 

If you have suffered a heart attack, our team will work with you throughout recovery to manage your heart disease. Learn more about our heart health services and rehabilitation program. 

Managing a Heart Attack at Wake Forest Baptist 

Treating risk factors for heart disease is the best way to prevent a heart attack. To decrease your heart attack risk, you'll need to eat a heart-healthy diet and exercise regularly. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce cholesterol and to control your blood pressure and diabetes. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, can also help to reduce your risk of heart attack. 

Contact Us 

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free)

 

Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 05-27-2014
USNWR 2013-2014Magnet Hospital RecognitionConsumer Choice2014 Best DoctorsJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.