How can you tell the difference between a heart attack and chest pain?
A few seconds of recurrent stabbing pain is less likely to be a heart attack (see box), while pain centered in the chest that spreads out to the left arm or jaw is more likely to be one.
Can chest pain mimic a heart attack?
Sometimes chest pain may be something as simple as a pulled chest muscle. Inflammation in the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone can also feel like a heart attack. If you have sudden chest pain that is causing you concern, you should seek immediate medical treatment to rule out a serious condition.
How do you rule out a heart attack?
Tests to diagnose a heart attack include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). This first test done to diagnose a heart attack records electrical signals as they travel through the heart.
- Blood tests.
- Chest X-ray.
- Coronary catheterization (angiogram).
- Cardiac CT or MRI .
When should I go to the ER for chest pain?
You should also visit the ER if your chest pain is prolonged, severe or accompanied by any of the following symptoms: Confusion/disorientation. Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath—especially after a long period of inactivity. Excessive sweating or ashen color.
How can I test myself for a heart attack?
Signs of a heart attack include: – Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. – Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. – Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. (If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.)
What is the fastest way to check for a heart attack?
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is an important test in suspected heart attacks. It should be done within 10 minutes of being admitted to hospital. An ECG measures the electrical activity of your heart. Every time your heart beats, it produces tiny electrical impulses.
How does anxiety chest pain feel?
Anxiety Chest Pain Symptoms Sharp, shooting, or stabbing pain. Persistent, dull aching. Tightness, tension, or pressure. A burning sensation.