Baytown • Mont Belvieu • Dayton
281 839 7949

Heart Attack Baytown


A heart attack is sometimes called a myocardial infarction (MI), acute myocardial infarction, coronary occlusion or coronary thrombosis.

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked or completely cut off. This also results in patients experiencing chest pain. The interrupted blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle with in minutes and scar tissue forms. The longer the blockage is left untreated, the more the heart muscle is damaged. If a significant portion of the heart muscle is damaged, heart muscle can become very weak and develop congestive heart failure (CHF).

As we get older, the smooth inner walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (Coronary arteries) can become damaged and narrow by a build-up of fat, cholesterol and other substances, which form a plaque. Over time, this build up make the coronary arteries narrow and less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis of coronary arteries is also referred to as Coronary artery disease (CAD).

About every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. More than 730,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Risk Factors:

  • Age – generally after 45 for men and 55 for women
  • Genetics – Family history of early heart disease
  • Smoking – smokers are at much higher risk than non-smokers
  • High cholesterol levels – increase the chance of plaque build up in the arteries
  • High blood pressure – also known as Hypertension
  • Obesity – or being significantly overweight.
  • Diabetes – increases heart attack risk.
  • Diet – for example, consuming large quantities of saturated fats from animal meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products
  • Alcohol – If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women
  • Work stress – those who are shift workers or have stressful jobs
  • Not exercising regularly or sedentary lifestyle
  • Previous heart attack

Many of the above risk factors occur together, which can make a heart attack even more likely.


The most common symptom is chest pain. It is commonly described as like ìan elephant sitting on my chestî, ìa belt thatís been tightened around my chestî or ìbad indigestionî.

However, one in three people may have no chest pain and have other symptoms; specially older individuals, women and diabetics.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Discomfort or tingling in one or both arms, back, shoulder, neck or jaw
  • Choking feeling in throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Heartburn-like feeling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Fainting

Some people have also described feeling generally unwell or ìnot quite rightî. Symptoms can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse.


Heart attack is a true medical emergency and timely care is very important. If you or any loved one is having the above symptoms, call 911 immediately to be transported safely in an ambulance to the nearest hospital.

The diagnosis of the heart attack is based on symptoms, medical history, ECG and the results of blood studies. The goal of treatment is to treat quickly and limit heart muscle damage.

Frequently paramedics will do ECG on site or on the way to the hospital. ECG will also be done within 10 minutes of arrival at the hospital.

Blood tests that check the levels of certain biochemical markers released into the bloodstream as heart muscle cells die; troponin tests, CK or CKñMB tests are commonly used and may be repeated over a period of time. By measuring the levels of these markers, the doctors can determine the size of the heart attack and approximately when the heart attack started.

Additional tests may include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise Treadmill Stress Test
  • Nuclear Stress Test
  • Cardiac Catheterization or Coronary Angiogram


Dr. Sami is an Interventional cardiologist and a Fellow of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). Interventional cardiologists rank among the world’s foremost authorities on cardiovascular disease and its treatment. They undergo additional rigourous training to perform invasive cardiac procedures in the setting of cardiac emergencies, day and night. Early treatment to open up the blockage can help prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle, save lives and help people live an active life, even after a heart attack.

When a diagnosis of heart attack, acute myocardial infarction, coronary occlusion or coronary thrombosis has been established in the emergency room, Dr. Sami will perform Coronary angioplasty or percutaneous coronary intervention to open blocked arteries. In this procedure, a thin, flexible tube is threaded through a blood vessel, usually in the upper thigh, to the blocked artery. A stent is placed to open up the artery and restore blood flow. This is the best treatment of heart attacks and has the best outcomes when done within two hours.

Other treatments in the acute setting include oxygen supplementation, aspirin, Nitroglycerin and blood thinners.

Contact Us Today:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Dr Sami’s goal in preventing heart attacks is to help screen for risk factors and patient education. Make an appointment today for an evaluation and screening with Dr. Sami.

Our main office is located at 6051 Garth Road, Suite 300, Baytown, TX 77521. Or you may contact us at 281-839-7949 to set up an appointment.

Contact Houston Cardiovascular Institute

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