Chest Pain – Do’s & Don’ts
“Chest pain is a warning sign of heart attack” says Dr Gobu, Senior Consultant- Interventional Cardiology at Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai.
Chest pain is a critical emergency condition that cannot be ignored. In the case of chest pain, patients may not experience actual pain but may experience squeezing/compression or discomfort in the chest. In some cases, patients may experience pain radiating in the arms; this could be an early symptom of a heart attack. In other incidents, patients may suffer from shortness of breath or light-headedness or giddiness that is associated with chest pain. These are the warning signs of a heart attack and should not be ignored.
Sometimes, chest pain may mimic gastric symptoms – patients may have belching, upper abdominal discomfort/pain. These symptoms could also manifest later as a heart attack. If chest pain is persistent for more than 5 mins, rush to a hospital. Time is very important during such a scenario; the sooner a patient is treated, the better are the chances for recovery. ECG is the first investigation that is absolutely essential in screening for heart attack. Even if the first ECG is normal, emergency doctors may advise the patient to be under observation for 1 or 2 hours to see if there are any changes in the ECG.