Not all cardiac symptoms are emergencies, but when you truly think your problem is life-threatening do not call the office or try to page the doctors. Call 911 and/or go to the nearest emergency room. Do not drive there yourself. Let them know you are our patient, they will contact us for further input.
For less severe problems, feel free to contact the office or your doctor for further triage. As noted elsewhere, we tend to manage most problems in the office.
Some Notes on Chest Discomfort
- Heart discomfort is frequently not described as “pain”. The discomfort may be just an ill-defined sensation of pressure in the chest, squeezing, fullness, indigestion, discomfort in the jaw, teeth, arms or between the shoulder blades.
- The symptoms are not necessarily on the left side of your body.
- They are frequently though not always accompanied by nausea, belching, sweating, lightheadedness or shortness of breath.
- If the symptoms come on with exertion, slow your pace or stop exerting.
- If the symptoms do not resolve within minutes of their onset or after slowing/stopping, call 911 or have somebody drive you to the hospital. If you have nitroglycerin you may use it.
Guidelines for Nitroglycerin Use
- Place one nitroglycerin tablet or spray under your tongue. Do not swallow the pill.
- If symptoms persist in five minutes take another nitroglycerin pill or spray.
- If symptoms continue another five minutes take a third nitroglycerin and call 911 as this may be a reflection of a heart attack in progress.