The key factor is that the chest discomfort doesn’t go away, and then spreads to another body part, such as:
- The neck
- The jaw
- The back
- The stomach
- The arms (either or both)
These symptoms alone warrant a rapid call to 999, who are likely to send out an ambulance if they believe you’re at risk.
Other clues you might be having a heart attack include a feeling of nausea.
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“If you’re with someone who’s experiencing heart attack symptoms but they’re putting off or refusing to call an ambulance, it’s really important that you call one for them,” added the BHF.
Is it a heart attack or indigestion?
As a heart attack can feel similar to indigestion, how can you tell the difference?
The key differentiation is that indigestion follows on from eating a meal – a heart attack can happen any time.
Indigestion can usually be resolved by taking medication for the condition, and by drinking water.
Is it angina or a heart attack?
Some people suffer from angina, which is essentially chest pain caused by coronary heart disease.
Angina can also lead to chest pain that travels to the arms, neck, stomach or jaw.
The symptoms of angina can be brought on by:
- Emotional upset
- Cold weather
- After a meal
“The episodes usually subside after a few minutes,” clarified the BHF.
Prescribed medication can relieve symptoms, as can rest, but if they don’t, then it’s time to call 999.