Chest Pain and heart attack is something we sometimes see in movies and on TV. The actor winces, brushes his brow or puts a fist to his chest. We usually are being tipped off that the actor is getting ready to have a heart attack. We sit there and think, “oooh, this guy is getting ready to kick”. It is pretty obvious. It is a big topic taught in any CPR Class you might take. So why is it we ignore this glaring warning sign in our own lives? Most people who experience chest pain ignore it, but a majority in this case doesn’t make it right. Denial isn’t a river in Egypt, and denying chest pain can be deadly.
Chest pain can indicate severe heart disease, which has been the #1 killer in the United States for some time. Of all the things we worry about in this country, heart disease accounts for about 600,000 death’s annually, at least since 2010. That’s over half a million deaths in this country alone, all from heart disease. That’s like the population of the city of Las Vegas gone, every year, from heart disease. Unexplained chest pain is not ok, which is the focus of an entire section of CPR classes, taught by American Heart Association instructors. Unexplained chest pain should not be ignored. With a bit of knowledge and help, these death rates can be lowered.
Any time chest pain is present, especially with a general lousy feeling, lightheadedness or dizziness, cold sweat, unwarranted fatigue or nausea, we need to take it seriously. Chew an aspirin and call 911. A doctor should always be sought when experiencing chest pain.
Being aware of some life-threatening and non life-threatening causes of chest pain can be helpful.
Life-threatening causes of chest pain can include the following:
- Myocardial Infarctions – a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart
- Angina Pectoris – reduced blood supply to the heart
- Mitral valve prolapse – problems where valves don’t close properly
Non life-threatening causes of chest pain include the following:
- Problems in your esophagus,
- Digestive system issues
- Muscle soreness
- Rib bruising or sore rib cartilage
What a relief to go to the doctor and find your worries were not as serious as you thought. All this worry over a bit of gas. What will your friends say? You might even keep it to yourself that you sought help, and why not. Better safe than sorry. This is a legitimate concern.
If you are having chest pain, prove it is nothing, don’t assume it is nothing. We all know the real meaning of the word ass-u-me. You can then get on with your life without worry. It is the assumptive dismissal of chest pain that gets us into trouble.
Aspirin – if you chew an aspirin, you can thin blood and significantly lower your chance of death from heart attack. Of course don’t mess with aspirin if you have any issues with aspirin.
Cowboy up – get help if you have chest pain because chest pain ignored won’t hurt you, it can kill you. Remember, if you have unexplained chest pain, chew an aspirin and call 911.