MARLO THOMAS
02/24/2014 10:35 am ET Updated Feb 24, 2014

Three Necessary Tests If You Think You're Having A Heart Attack, From Sharon Mulvagh, MD (VIDEO)

Mayo Clinic cardiologist Sharon Mulvagh, MD told us exactly what tests should be administered by a doctor to a patient who thinks they may be having a heart attack.

The most important thing to remember is to communicate. “If you’re in the throes of a heart attack, you need to communicate and tell the doctors what’s wrong, and don’t leave until these things are fully addressed,” Dr. Mulvagh advised.

Doctors evaluate three specific factors when diagnosing an acute heart attack. First, doctors will look at a patient’s symptoms and see if they align with common symptoms of a heart attack.

Next, doctors will administer a blood test to check for elevated levels of an enzyme called troponin. Elevated levels of this enzyme indicate damage to the heart muscle.

Finally, a doctor uses an electrocardiogram to look at the electrical tracings of the heart activity. If anything looks abnormal, this could indicate an acute heart attack.

For more tips for a healthy heart, view the slideshow below:

PHOTO GALLERY
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BEFORE YOU GO
Tips For A Healthy Heart
PHOTO GALLERY
Tips For A Healthy Heart

How healthy is your heart? Find out by taking the Heart Health Quiz here.

For informational purposes only. Please talk to your doctor about your individual situation. If you're having symptoms of a heart attack, call 911.

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