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A heart attack (myocardial infarction) happens when one of the coronary arteries that brings oxygen-rich blood to your heart becomes blocked.
The block is usually caused by fatty cholesterol (plaque) building up on the walls of an artery. The medical term for this process is atherosclerosis, or coronary artery disease. If the plaque breaks away and forms a clot, the artery becomes blocked and blood flow stops, causing a heart attack.
A STEMI (ST elevation myocardial infarction) is the most serious type of heart attack. It occurs if an artery is completely blocked. A STEMI causes a lot of damage to your heart and requires immediate help. At Baystate Health, we treat more people who have had a STEMI than any other hospital in Massachusetts —that’s more than 300 STEMI patients each year.
Number One in Western Massachusetts for Heart Attack Care
A heart attack can be deadly if you don’t receive the right treatment, right away. If you think you or a loved one is having a heart attack, rely on Baystate Medical Center for lifesaving treatment. Call 911 immediately.
Baystate Medical Center is currently the only hospital in our region that can stop a heart attack. Treatment to stop a heart attack includes cardiac catheterization, balloon angioplasty, and stenting. These are all done in our cath lab (cardiac catheterization lab), which is open 24 hours a day for emergencies.
Additionally, Baystate Medical Center serves all patients in Western Massachusetts who are having a STEMI. Local hospital partners, who recognize that the best way to open a blocked artery is by stents, refer all of their STEMI cases to us.
Heart Care that Exceeds National Standards
Baystate Health regularly ranks among the top heart centers in the country. We offer:
- The only cardiac (heart) catheterization laboratory available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for heart and vascular specialists to immediately unblock arteries
- Lifesaving angioplasty up to 25 minutes sooner than the national standard
- A “door-to-balloon” time that ranks in the top 10% in the nation, which significantly increases the chance of surviving a heart attack. Door-to-balloon time means the time between patients entering hospital doors and receiving treatment (balloon angioplasty) to stop a heart attack