Pain in your chest can be severe. It can be difficult to interpret. The cause of the pain could be something as simple as heartburn or as serious as a heart attack.
If you experience unexplained and persistent chest pain or a feeling of pressure or tightness in your chest — particularly if it's accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness or pain that radiates beyond your chest to one or both of your arms or your neck — seek emergency medical care immediately. If you are having a heart attack, rapid treatment can dramatically reduce the amount of damage to your heart muscle and prevent long-term complications.
Every minute is crucial if you are in the midst of a heart attack. A trip to the emergency room could save your life — or bring you peace of mind if nothing is seriously wrong with your health.
When to go to the ER for Breathing difficulties?
Shortness of breath has many different causes. Obstruction of the air passages of the nose, mouth, or throat may lead to difficulty breathing. Heart disease can cause breathlessness if the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply oxygen to the body. If the brain, muscles, or other body organs do not receive enough oxygen, a sense of breathlessness may occur. Sometimes emotional distress, such as anxiety, can lead to difficulty breathing.
Breathing difficulty, whether sudden or long term, should always be taken seriously. Though many causes are harmless and are easily corrected, any difficulty breathing requires a thorough medical evaluation.
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if difficulty breathing comes on suddenly or seriously interferes with breathing, or if someone completely stops breathing.
This is just a good guideline but not set in stone. If you have panic attacks regularly and experience some chest pain you may want to call the nurse triage at your clinic and ask for advice. Always error on the side of safety.
Use your good common sense and please remember I am not a profesional.
Any questions or comments, please post away...............that is what we are all here for.
Post Edited (grimmly) : 1/15/2009 11:09:53 AM (GMT-7)
Crushing pain is often used by patient in describing the pain of a heart attack as well as "it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest".
I am glad this helps is some small way.
Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum
Post Edited (percycat) : 1/15/2009 12:01:21 PM (GMT-7)