Heart Attack

A heart attack refers to the death of heart muscle from the sudden blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot. Coronary arteries are blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. When coronary arteries are blocked, the heart muscle is deprived of blood and oxygen and becomes injured.

Heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary artery disease, a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. An area of plaque can rupture inside of an artery and cause a blood clot to form on the plaque’s surface. If the clot becomes large enough, it can block blood flow through a coronary artery.

If the blockage isn’t treated quickly, the portion of heart muscle fed by the artery begins to die and healthy heart tissue is replaced with scar tissue.

Heart Attack Services + Programs

The Healthy Heart Program at St. Paul’s Hospital is an innovative wellness program for people at risk for heart attack and stroke, and for those who have suffered a heart attack or recently undergone heart surgery. The program offers cardiac rehabilitation, and cardiovascular risk reduction and metabolic syndrome services.

The Syd and Joanne Belzberg Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic is a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation and risk-factor reduction program serving men and women who have had a recent heart attack, angina, coronary angioplasty or open heart surgery, and those at risk of developing heart disease.

The Leslie Diamond Women’s Heart Health Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital offers services tailored to lifestyle management to women who have had a previous cardiac event or who are at high risk of having one.

The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada provides a list of cardiac rehabilitation centres across Canada.

Heart Attack Resources + Organizations