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How Florida Health Care Providers Treat Three Types Of Heart Attacks


You are right to be concerned if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or other classic symptoms of heart attack, and you know the importance of getting medical attention right away. Upon arrival, you can expect health care providers to conduct a thorough physical exam, along with various diagnostic screenings to assess your condition. If it is determined that you suffered acute myocardial infarction (AMI), health care providers will embark on an appropriate treatment plan that may include medications and/or surgery.

What you may not realize is that there are different types of heart attack, and the distinctions could impact decision-making with respect to care strategies. Errors can cause serious patient harm, at times amounting to heart attack malpractice. Knowing how AMIs affect the body may help you understand the importance of proper diagnosis or treatment.

Three Types of Heart Attack 

Acute coronary syndrome occurs when the arteries that transport blood and oxygen throughout the body are blocked, but there are different forms. The determining characteristic is the “ST segment” – the wave you see on an electrocardiogram machine that depicts your heartbeat. As such:

  1. In a STEMI infarction, the elevation of the wave is more pronounced. The ST segments rise and fall higher with this classic type of heart attack.
  2. NSTEMI is the opposite, in which there is non-ST segment elevation. This is due to the fact that an artery is only partially blocked, so elevation will not appear.
  3. A coronary artery spasm occurs when the arteries become compressed, either stopping or reducing blood flow. There can be challenges with diagnosis, since the spasms may be mistaken for indigestion, heartburn, or muscle pain.

Many of the risk factors involved with heart attack carry across all three types, including diet, levels of activity, and genetics.

Treatment for Myocardial Infarction 

With an understanding of the basic forms of AMI, you can see how health care providers’ approach to care may vary. Therefore, a proper diagnosis of the particular type of heart attack is critical before decisions on treatment can be made and put into effect. To start, a medication or procedure that aims to eliminate clots may not be the most effective treatment for coronary artery spasm: The blockage is due to compression, not clots. Plus:

  • Grafting, i.e., coronary bypass surgery, is a procedure that reroutes blood flow around a blocked artery. It is extremely invasive, so probably inappropriate for NSTEMI events.
  • Thrombolytics dissolve blood clots, but they must be administered early to be effective. This medication may not take action quickly enough for a STEMI infarction. 

Our Florida Heart Attack Malpractice Attorneys Will Advise You 

If you suffered harm or someone close to you died because of errors in treating AMI, you may have legal remedies under Florida’s medical malpractice laws. Our Miami heart attack malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. can explain your options after reviewing your circumstances, so please contact our offices today. We can set up a no-cost case review to discuss strategies and details.


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