Heart Attack Complications

Heart Attack Complications: What You Need to Know

Heart Attack Complications

24 JULY 2023

Heart attacks are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, including in India. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases account for 28% of all deaths in India, causing damage to the heart muscle. While heart attacks can be fatal, many complications can occur due to a heart attack. It is important to be aware of these complications so that you can take steps to prevent them or seek medical attention if they occur.


Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm that can occur after a heart attack. It can cause the heart to beat too fast, slow, or irregularly. It can lead to further damage to the heart or even sudden cardiac arrest. Symptoms of arrhythmia include palpitations, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Seek medical attention immediately in case of any new symptoms post-heart attack.

Heart failure

Heart failure can occur after a heart attack due to damage to the heart muscle. Fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling in the legs and ankles are symptoms of heart failure. Treatment for heart failure may include medications, lifestyle changes, or even surgery.

Cardiogenic shock

Cardiogenic shock is when the heart cannot pump enough blood to maintain vital organ function. It can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a cardiogenic shock need to be taken care of seriously, and treatment for cardiogenic shock may include medications to support the heart, oxygen therapy, or even surgery.

Blood clots

Blood clots form in the heart’s arteries after a heart attack due to disrupted arterial lining and clotting. They result from blockages in coronary arteries caused by ruptured or eroded atherosclerotic plaques, limiting oxygen supply to the heart muscle.

Heart valves

Heart valves regulate blood flow in the heart. Damaged valves can disrupt blood circulation, leading to symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Treatment options include medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery. During a heart attack, nearby valve damage can cause blood leakage in the wrong direction.

Not everyone who experiences a heart attack will develop these complications. However, it is still important to be aware of them and take steps to prevent them. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, such as:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

It is also important to manage any underlying health conditions, such as high bloodpressure or diabetes.

seek medical attention

If you have experienced a heart attack, following up with your doctor regularly is important. Your doctor can monitor your condition and recommend any necessary treatments or lifestyle changes. It is also important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of complications, such as arrhythmia or heart failure.

It is also important to note that prompt medical attention can be life-saving in the case of heart attack complications. If you or someone you know experiences symptoms of a heart attack or any complications discussed in this article, seek medical attention immediately. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities in India offer specialized care for heart attacks and their complications. Knowing the nearest hospital with these facilities and having their contact information readily available in an emergency is important.

In addition to seeking medical attention, it is important to be prepared for a heart attack. This includes learning the symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, and nausea or lightheadedness. Having a plan in an emergency is also important, such as knowing CPR or having an automated external defibrillator (AED) nearby.


Heart attack complications can be serious and even life-threatening. However, with proper care and management, you can reduce your risk of complications and improve your overall health. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack and its complications and seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms. By preventing complications and being prepared for an emergency, you can protect your heart health and live healthier lives.

Disclaimer: The information presented by Boston Scientific India is for educational purposes only and does not recommend self-management of health issues. The information should not be treated as comprehensive and does not intend to provide diagnosis, treatment or any medical advice. Individual results may vary and hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.


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Heart Attack | Arrhythmia | Heart Failure | Symptoms of heart attack | Cardiogenic Shock | Blood Clots | Heart valves