Many different health conditions can cause chest pain, and some of them may indicate a very serious problem such as heart attack. In many cases, it is related to the heart.
Emergency first aid should be given to people who have unexplained chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes.
Chest Pain: First Aid
Chest pain may be caused by a temporary poor blood flow to the heart (angina) or a sudden blockage in the coronary arteries resulting in a heart attack.
There are many other possible causes of chest pain, such as muscle strain, exhaustion, and indigestion. It is because the chest has many parts that can feel pain, including the lungs, esophagus, muscle, bone, and skin. There is a complex system of nerves in the body that can cause pain within the chest, even though it may come from other parts. This Is known as ‘referred pain.’
While chest pain is not usually-life threatening, it could be a warning sign of a heart attack or stroke. With proper first aid intervention, it is possible to control the complications from these conditions.
Signs And Symptoms
Depending on the reason for the chest pain, the symptoms may differ. These include the following:
- Severe crushing pain in the centre of the chest
- Squeezing, tight, and heavy pressure feeling
- Nausea or dizziness
- Cold sweat
- Pain in the jaw or down the left arm
With chest pain, every minute counts. The faster the person receives first aid and emergency treatment, the better.
How To Treat Chest Pain
The treatment for chest pain will depend on the cause. If a heart attack is causing the symptoms, get emergency help as soon as possible.
If any activity causes pain in the chest area, follow these steps:
Take A Break
Stop whatever you are doing and rest immediately. If there are other bystanders in the area, tell them how you feel.
Take angina medications and observe how you feel after five minutes. If symptoms persist, take another dose of the medicine and wait for another five minutes.
If the symptoms do not go away, call for help.
Call Emergency Services
Dial triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. Wait for the instructions for the operator.
If you can’t get an ambulance to come to you, have a neighbour or friend drive you to the nearest hospital. Only drive if there are no other options. As symptoms become worse over time, driving will only put yourself and others at risk.
For bystanders in the area, begin CPR if you see someone having a heart attack. Perform hands-only CPR by pushing hard and fast on the person’s chest for 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
Use An AED
If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available and the victim remains unconscious and not breathing, follow the device’s instructions for using it.
Reduce the risk of chest pain and other heart-related diseases by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes:
- Following a healthy, balanced diet.
- Managing health conditions (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol)
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining healthy weight
- Limiting the amount of alcohol intake.
- Quitting smoking and use of tobacco products.
Chest pain is not something to ignore, especially if the pain is new, comes on suddenly, or lasts longer than five minutes. Know the warning signs of a heart attack and seek emergency care soon after you start having chest pain.
Learn the practical skills to help save lives in these situations by enrolling in a first aid course.
Visit the First Aid Courses Darwin and have the information on hand when you need it most.