Chest Pain: First Aid

Pain and discomfort in the chest cause the most concern. The first thing that comes to mind is heart problems. But in fact, there are more possible causes of malaise, sometimes there are even several at once.

What can hurt in the chest?

The main sources of pain can be problems with the lungs, heart or gastrointestinal tract. In addition, there are various neuralgia, which are easy to take for heart pain. And talk about this in the first place.

How to distinguish heart pain?

One of the signals of heart problems is pain. The diseases in which such symptoms are possible include:

There is a feeling of discomfort or pain is crushing, squeezing or burning in nature. The pain radiates (transmitted, spreads) to the left shoulder or the inner side of the hand. Pain attack often begins on the background of physical activity or strong emotional impact; it can last up to 10 minutes and is removed with nitroglycerin.

Chest Pain: First Aid

Aortic dissection
If you have at least one of the following symptoms, you should immediately call an ambulance:

  • sharp migrating pain, with possible irradiation to the left arm or neck;
  • burning, crushing or tearing type of pain;
  • possible fainting;
  • there is cyanosis (pallor) of the upper half of the trunk;
  • bradycardia (slow pulse).

Heart attack
Severe chest pain and fear of death are the most characteristic signs of a heart attack. When the peripheral form of the pain may radiate to the neck, giving the left limb and the little finger.

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For a heart attack characterized by the following symptoms:

  • choking attack, unproductive cough;
  • the duration of pain is more than 15 minutes;
  • pain does not pass after taking nitroglycerin;
  • arrhythmia;
  • the pain increases with movements.

With myocarditis, you may experience General malaise and persistent pain in the heart area. Myocarditis is an inflammatory process often accompanied by cardiac arrhythmias. Physical activity increases pain; possible subfebrile temperature on the background of the infectious process.

Pulmonary embolism
Is accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • tachycardia (rapid heartbeat);
  • dyspnea;
  • prolonged chest pain that intensifies during breathing;
  • mild cyanosis.

Burning pain: heart or stomach?

One of the most unpleasant types of pain is burning. The causes of burning pain are diverse: it can be associated with heart disease, the symptoms of which are described above, and with problems of the stomach and esophagus.

Chest Pain: First Aid

The main cause of burning pain behind the sternum, not related to the heart, may be:

  • gastritis;
  • pleurisy;
  • heartburn;
  • esophagitis;
  • intercostal neuralgia;
  • gastric or duodenal ulcer.

The main difference between such pains will be a clear localization. Pain associated with gastrointestinal tract, are not removed by nitroglycerin.

But the main feature of the heart burning pain behind the sternum will be a spilled character — it is difficult for the patient to show a certain place of its localization. In addition, this type of pain can turn in the left arm, neck.

To determine heart disease help nitroglycerin: after his admission, the pain should go or be weakened. In the case of angina, nitroglycerin will help relieve pain completely, with a heart attack — only slightly.

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Pain associated with breathing: what is the cause?

The discomfort and pain associated with breathing, is a fairly common symptom. Do not associate it only with lung disease.

Chest Pain: First Aid

Such pain can occur when:

  • pulmonary embolism;
  • intercostal neuralgia;
  • pneumonias;
  • pleurisy;
  • pneumothorax;
  • advanced form of scoliosis;
  • tuberculosis;
  • lung abscess.

In any of the above diagnoses, you should seek medical help.

Sharply stung in the chest is dangerous?

Regular single or associated with any of the action, stabbing pain is considered to be not so dangerous. It should be understood that for heart disease stabbing nature of pain is not typical. Much more dangerous is the pressing, compressing or burning pain. But the stabbing pain could indicate a serious problem with the lungs; it also occurs in thrombosis or embolism.

The first thing you need to understand is what caused the pain. Is it repeated during exercise? Does it occur when you take a certain position? After that, try to find the place of the stabbing pain. But it is not necessary to independently put a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. If pain persists, consult a doctor.

Chest pain in an elderly person: how to be

With age, the likelihood of various diseases increases. In an elderly person, chest pain, except for the reasons described above, can be caused by:

  • uncontrolled hypertension;
  • heart failure;
  • arrhythmias;
  • chronic bronchitis.

Chest Pain: First Aid

Ischemic heart disease can occur in an elderly person in the form of angina pectoris tension. In this case, the pain is associated with physical activity, even minor. It should be understood that the protective mechanisms of the elderly are reduced, so do not hesitate or doubt when calling an ambulance.

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What to do for chest pain

The first step is to undo the top buttons of clothes. If there is a heart disease previously diagnosed by a doctor, it is necessary to take prescribed drugs.

In that case, if this happens for the first time, give the victim a tablet of nitroglycerin (better put under the tongue). If there is no positive effect, repeat after 5-10 minutes. If the second reception did not give result, it is necessary to call an ambulance. The delay may cost the patient life.

If you do not have nitroglycerin at hand, you can put validolum or mint gum under your tongue. Mint irritates the receptors located under the tongue, which reflexively relieves vascular spasm.

Chest Pain: First Aid

Cases where you need to quickly call an ambulance:

  • pain of compressive, oppressive character;
  • transition of pain in the left arm, neck;
  • the attack of pain is not removed by nitroglycerin;
  • there are long-term violations of pulse and blood pressure;
  • impairment of consciousness.

Many ignore these signals or misinterpret them. Heart pain in different diseases are of different nature, and it should be understood that the exact diagnosis can only be established by a doctor.

Remember! Excessive self-confidence and delay can lead to serious consequences for the patient.

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