Chest pain: Should I visit the ER?
Sudden deaths resulting from chest pains have shown that certain symptoms should not be taken lightly. While pains such as indigestion certainly aren’t sufficient reason to visit the ER, there could be as many as 26 reasons why you’re experiencing chest pains, some more serious than others.
If you’re experiencing pain, pressure or discomfort in the centre of your chest or in your arms, back, jaw, neck or stomach, along with shortness of breath, a cold sweat, nausea, fatigue or light headedness (for at least five minutes), you should call the emergency services. Depending on its cause, the type of pain you feel may be sharp or dull, it may be a burning, aching or stabbing feeling. You may even feel a tight, squeezing or crushing sensation. These symptoms could be caused by a number of serious factors.
However, some instances may not turn out to be serious cases, so why should you worry about chest pain?
Chest pains are not something to put off until tomorrow or to self-diagnose. While most people who experience severe chest pains often assume it’s a heart attack, it may not be; but what are the differences between heart attack pains and other pains?
Pain from a heart attack isn’t confined to the area around the heart. The pain related to a heart attack is unrelenting and could typically last five minutes or more, even up to a half an hour or an hour. Pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back is likely to be a heart attack. It’s less likely to be related to a heart attack if the pain is localised to one small area.
Pain or pressure accompanied by difficulty in breathing, a cold sweat or sudden nausea could be cause for alarm. This is when it is important to visit the ER for emergency treatment.
WebMD provides 26 possible reasons for serious chest pains, from Coronary Artery Disease to Pneumonia or a lung abscess. It’s important to assess any additional symptoms and measure the intensity of pain you’re in.
If you’re unsure, hit your alert button and have one of iER’s call centre agents assess which service provider would best suit your emergency. If you don’t have our free app, download it today.