Chest Pain Cause Medical Help

Many people who experience chest pains ask themselves what they should do to alleviate their symptoms. Some people who are having chest pains ignore their symptoms and wait too long to call 911 or seek medical help. On the other hand, some people panic and call 911 after eating food and experiencing heart burn.

If you are experiencing unexplained chest pain, it is always better to err on the side of caution. While a person who is suffering only from heartburn might feel a little embarrassed after arriving at the hospital in an ambulance, a person who is having a heart attack could suffer serious health complications or even death if he postpones important medical treatment.

Therefore, when in doubt, either have a friend or family member drive you to the emergency room or call 911 for medical help.

In this section, we’ll discuss what you should do when you are experiencing chest pain. We’ll discuss when you should call 911 and when you should go to the hospital or your doctor for medical treatment. In addition, we’ll give you first aid tips and will detail what you can expect to happen once you are at the doctor’s office.

When to Call 911

Approximately 40 percent of all heart attacks that occur each year in the United States are fatal. However, many of these deaths can be prevented if people take their symptoms seriously and seek medical attention or call 911 before the condition causes too much damage.

Calling 911 is essential to surviving a heart attack or other serious heart condition, as it is often the fastest way to get the treatment you need. Call 911 if you:

  • experience chest pain coupled with sweating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and/or shortness or breath
  • experience chest pain that worsens or chest pain that extends to your back, jaw, throat, arms and/or below your breastbone
  • experience chest pain with weakness and a feeling of anxiety
  • experience rapid or irregular heartbeats
  • feel as if a belt is being tightened around your chest.

Remember, it is always best to know when to call 911.

When to Seek Medical Help

Chest pain can sometimes be caused by relatively benign conditions, such as a pinched nerve. However, a person who is experiencing chest pain could also be suffering from a more severe health condition, such as a heart attack or aortic dissection.

If a person is experiencing chest pain, either mild or severe, that lasts longer than a few minutes, it is best to call 911, as he could be experiencing a heart attack.

However, if you know that you have gastrointestinal reflux disease and you experience chest pain after eating a large meal and going to bed, this pain can likely be attributed to heartburn. Similarly, if you have angina and experience sharp chest pain after jogging, it is likely that this chest pain is caused by your angina. In these instances, it is probably safe for a friend or family member to drive you to your doctor’s office or the hospital for medical help, rather than calling 911.

In addition, people who are experiencing chest pain not accompanied by other heart attack symptoms and have no history of chest pain should seek medical help.

Resources Staff. (2007). Angina. Retrieved October 23, 2007, from the Web site:

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Staff. (2007). When to call 911 for heart attack symptoms. Retrieved October 23, 2007, from the Cleveland Clinic Web site: