A heart attack (see also sudden cardiac arrest) is when the heart muscle is damaged because blood flow to the heart was blocked.
A heart rhythm specialist may order tests to check the blood flow to the heart and to check the electrical pathways of the heart.
Using test results, treatment options may include medications, surgery, and sometimes, an implantable defibrillator.
After a heart attack, treatment may include medications to increase blood flow to the heart and surgery to open the arteries to the heart.
When rapid irregular heartbeats in the lower heart chamber (ventricular fibrillation or VF) are also found, the VF may be treated with an implanted defibrillator. A defibrillator detects VF and delivers therapies that return the heart to a more normal rhythm.
People with a defibrillator continue their lives with some lifestyle adjustments.