ST segment elevation myocardial infarction remains a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide, despite a declining incidence and better survival rates. It usually results from thrombotic occlusion of a coronary artery at the site of a ruptured or eroded plaque. Diagnosis is based on characteristic symptoms and electrocardiogram changes, and confirmed subsequently by raised cardiac enzymes. Prognosis is dependent on the size of the infarct, presence of collaterals and speed with which the occluded artery is reopened. Mechanical reperfusion by primary percutaneous coronary intervention is superior to fibrinolytic therapy if delivered by an experienced team in a timely fashion. Post-reperfusion care includes monitoring for complications, evaluation of left ventricular function, secondary preventive therapy and cardiac rehabilitation.