Heart attack

Definition

Heart attack means a definite diagnosis of the death of heart muscle due to obstruction of blood flow, that results in a rise and fall of biochemical cardiac markers to levels considered diagnostic of myocardial infarction, with at least one of the following:

  • heart attack symptoms
  • new electrocardiogram (ECG) changes consistent with a heart attack
  • development of new Q waves during or immediately following an intra-arterial cardiac procedure including, but not limited to, coronary angiography and coronary angioplasty.

The diagnosis of heart attack must be made by a specialist.

Survival period

The insured person must survive for 30 days following the date of diagnosis.

Exclusions

Heart attack does not include:

  • elevated biochemical cardiac markers as a result of an intra-arterial cardiac procedure including, but not limited to, coronary angiography and coronary angioplasty, in the absence of new Q waves, or
  • ECG changes suggesting a prior myocardial infarction, which do not meet the heart attack definition as described above.

Explanation

A heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction or coronary thrombosis) may occur when the normal supply of blood to the heart is interrupted by a blocked artery or clot, causing part of the heart muscle to die. The usual symptom is acute chest pain but symptoms are not limited to chest pain. The diagnosis of a recent heart attack therefore, is confirmed by the detection of abnormal electrical activity over the surface of the heart, which is seen on an electrocardiograph (ECG) and the detection of raised levels of cardiac biochemical markers released from the damaged heart muscle tissue.