Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Heart Attack Definition:

Damage to the heart muscle by occlusion of blood supply.

Related Terms: Myocardial Infarction, Myocardium, Heart Attack Standard

Heart attack is a term not generally used by the medical profession, who prefer the term infarction generally, or myocardial infarction specifically.

In the context of the law generally, and disability law specifically, caution should be used in limiting heart attack to myocardial infarctions.1

In Dillon v. Leroux, Justice Hinds of the British Columbia Court of Appeals, at ¶9, equated the terms as follows (emphasis added):

"In lay terms the working diagnosis was heartburn, and the differential diagnosis was to rule out temporary restriction of the blood to the heart, which could lead to myocardial infarction (a heart attack), and to rule out inflammation of the sac around the heart."


  • Dillon v Leroux, 89 B.C.L.R. (2d) 376 (1994)
  • McCormick v Green Bus Lines, 276 NE 2d 619 (1971)

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