A heart attack, known in medicine as an acutemyocardial infarction(AMI or MI), occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (like cholesterol) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery. The resulting ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and oxygen shortage, if left untreated for a sufficient period, can cause damage and/or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue (myocardium).

Schematic Diagram

Nursing Care Plans

You may also want to read, Coronary Artery Disease Nursing Care Plans and Heart Failure Nursing Care Plans.