Heart Attack Overview

The heart is a muscle like any other in the body. Arteries supply it with oxygen-rich blood so that it can contract and push blood to the rest of the body. When there isn't enough oxygen flow to a muscle, its function begins to suffer. Block the oxygen supply completely, and the muscle starts to die.
  • Heart muscle gets its blood supply from arteries that originate in the aorta just as it leaves the heart.
  • The coronary arteries run along the surface of the heart and supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.
  • The right coronary artery supplies the right ventricle of the heart and the inferior (lower) portion of the left ventricle.
  • The left anterior descending coronary artery supplies the majority of the left ventricle, while the circumflex artery supplies the back of the left ventricle.
  • The ventricles are the lower chambers of the heart; the right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs and left pumps it to the rest of the body.

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