When is chest pain an emergency, and what should I do?
I've had chest pain for 3weeks, which just got worse. My doctor gave me Anarex for pain relief, which did not help.
Hi, you should definitely see a doctor/go to AnE immediately as a matter of urgency, as your chest pain has lasted for weeks and has shown signs of worsening.
Chest pain is one of those symptoms that you should NOT ignore. While it’s indeed often due to "less-worrying" causes, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Even minor chest pains can sometimes be a sign of coronary artery disease and clogged heart vessels - up to 30% of heart attacks have barely noticeable warning signs or symptoms.
Below are some general guidelines that may be useful for deciding when your chest pain is serious and warrants urgent medical attention:
- You are older than 40
- You have risk factors for heart disease (smoking, obesity, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes).
- You have a family history of early heart disease.
- Your chest pain is accompanied by chest tightness, squeezing, heaviness, or a crushing sensation, weakness, nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, or fainting.
- The chest pain radiates to your shoulders, arms, or jaw.
- The pain is more severe than any you've had before.
- The pain is accompanied by a sense of impending doom.
- The pain is persistent or worsening.
If you need immediate attention for your chest pain, the safest thing to do is to call 911 and be taken to a nearby AnE.