Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

Synonyms: acute coronary syndrome, ACS, myocardial infarction

Basic overview

  • An acute coronary syndrome refers to the sudden narrowing or blockage of an artery supplying the heart muscle.
  • The most common cause is rupture of an atherosclerotic plaque (an abnormal build-up of cholesterol and inflammatory material that lines the inside of the blood vessels). This plaque accumulates with age and other heart risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, poor diet, and being overweight.
  • The ruptured plaque leads to the formation of a blood clot that stops blood flow down the artery, essentially starving part of the heart tissue of blood and oxygen, this causes a ‘heart attack’.


  • Most patients experience a sudden onset of chest pain or tightness, often with radiation to the left arm or jaw. Some patients, particularly diabetics and the elderly, may not experience chest pain at all
  • Other associated symptoms include nausea, sweating and feeling light-headed


  • Heart attacks are a medical emergency and if delayed or left untreated, may be fatal
  • Treatment generally consists of a combination of medications and if appropriate, an angiogram to view the arteries.
  • Heart artery narrowings / blockages are treated with medications, stents, surgery (bypass grafting) or a combination of these
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Our Locations

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Cardiology Tasmania has 5 specialist centres located in Derwent Park, Huonville, Oatland, Swansea and Rokeby. As well as our fixed locations, our cardiology specialists and consultants travel to regional and remote areas to ensure all patients have access to cardiology services regardless of where they live.
Call Us:
0439 195 660
Derwent Park
  • Northcare Health Centre, 254 Main Road, Derwent Park, TAS

  • 62728869
  • Huon Valley Health Centre, 85 Main Road, Huonville, TAS
  • 62642800
  • Midlands Multipurpose Health, 13 Church Street, Oatlands, TAS
  • 61350540
  • Swansea General Practice: 37 Wellington Street, Swansea, TAS
  • 62578205
  • Knopwood Medical Centre: 46 South Arm Road, Rokeby, TAS
  • 62471019

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