Heart Attack | Acute Myocardial Infarction | AMI

Our Approach to Care

MaineHealth’s network of community hospitals partners with emergency medical responders to deliver fast treatment for heart attack care to achieve the best outcomes. We work to ensure that patients get the lifesaving treatment they need, no matter where they enter the system of care.

A heart attack also is known as an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). A heart attack happens when blood flow is blocked to the heart. A heart attack is a medical emergency. The heart is unable to get oxygen from the blood. Without blood flow, part of the heart muscle becomes damaged or dies.

Fast Treatment for the Best Outcomes

The AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction) Perfuse Program is a regional system for the fastest, most appropriate heart attack care and ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. Emergency medical technicians with advanced training in heart attack care perform tests in the ambulance, so that hospital emergency departments get the information ahead of time.

A response team is ready to provide heart attack treatment as soon as the patient arrives at the hospital. The regional system involves numerous hospitals in central, southern and western Maine, and the emergency medical services providers in the communities they serve.

Heart attack treatment may include medication, changes in lifestyle, and surgery. It also can include cardiac rehabilitation.

Getting Help Fast Can Be a Lifesaver

Learn the heart attack signs. Even if you’re not sure, get help fast. Call 911.

Emergency medical responders are trained to evaluate and to help someone whose heart has stopped. They send information to the hospital’s emergency department before the patient arrives.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart Attack Symptoms May Start Slowly

Symptoms may start slowly with discomfort. Because people are not sure about what’s happening, they may wait too long to get help. Other heart attack symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness) that goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Losing your breath
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Cold sweat

Are You at Risk?

Are you at higher risk for a heart attack?

Some people are at a higher risk of having a heart attack. These heart attack risk factors include:

  • Previous heart attack or angina
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Not being physically active
  • Early menopause
  • Being overweight
  • Family history of heart disease, including father or brother diagnosed before age 55, or mother or sister diagnosed before age 65.       

Lowering your heart attack risk
Lifestyle changes can make a difference and lower your risk for heart attack. Lifestyle changes can include quitting tobacco, getting regular exercise and eating healthy fods.

Do you have questions about heart health?

Connect with a Health Educator, and ask your questions.

We’re here for you. We can help.

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Cardiovascular Institute at Maine Medical Center

Nationally Recognized Cardiac Center

The Cardiovascular Institute at Maine Medical Center offers the most advanced skill and care for heart patients. The heart program is the largest of its kind in northern New England. Learn more here

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