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Chest pain and heart attack

Acidity, muscle pain and spondylitis can cause chest pain, but if it is severe and is accompanied by vomiting and sweating, it could be a heart attack, says physician Geeta Sundar


Pain in the chest region could be due to acidity, muscle pain, bone-cage pain, a tear in a major blood vessel, or a sudden block in a vessel in the lungs or spondylitis. If there is pain on pressing the chest, it is more likely to be a muscular or bone pain, and if it is behind the breast bone and burning in nature, it could be hyperacidity. The first thing to do is to give antacids that act fast. If pain persists, give a painkiller. 

Cardiac pain is normally very severe, and is accompanied by sweating and vomiting, and can radiate to the left upper limb, upper abdomen or even lower part of the face. If antacids and painkillers don’t work, call an ambulance and rush the patient to a hospital. Don’t call your doctor home as there’s little he can do on his own. While waiting for the ambulance, give an Aspirin (300 mg) if he is conscious. If you can’t feel the pulse in the neck, give a firm thump to the middle of the chest with closed fists, and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) till help arrives. Ensure that the airways are clear of dentures and foreign objects. If the patient can be moved, shift him from the bed to the floor.

Cardiac massage:

Place palm on lower part of breast bone

  • Place heel of the other hand on the first bone
  • Keep both the hands straight, and press downwards about 3-5 cm and release abruptly
  • Continue this about 60 times a minute

Mouth-to-mouth breathing: Following every fifth chest compression, the operator should place his mouth on that of the patient after taking a deep and full breath. Keeping the patient’s nostrils pinched, he should breathe in fully into the latter’s mouth. Cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing can be done by two people for better results.

When alone: If you have a heart attack when alone, don’t panic. Take an Aspirin. Take a deep breath and follow it by a deep cough (as if you are clearing phlegm from the chest). Repeat deep breathing followed by coughing every two seconds till help arrives. 

Article Courtesy: Times Wellness

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