Understanding the differences between acute myocardial infarction and myocardial contusion is important to facilitate healing, prevent complications, and provide accurate information to patients who have experienced one or both of these complications. This article uses a case study format to describe and contrast these 2 myocardial injuries.

Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and myocardial contusion both result in injury to the heart. The underlying pathophysiology, clinical findings, and interventions, however, differ markedly between the 2 disorders. Knowledge of these aspects can assist critical care nurses in facilitating healing, preventing complications, and providing accurate information to patients and patients’ families. Understanding the differences between AMI and myocardial contusion is particularly important when caring for a patient who has experienced both problems.

In this article, we present 3 case studies to contrast AMI and myocardial contusion: H.N. with an AMI of the inferior wall, S.B. with a myocardial contusion, and L.R. with both...

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