Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
| ||Emergency & First Aid: First Aid for Chest Pain||
Chest pain can come from a lot of things.
Causes of chest pain that need emergency medical care include:
- Heart attack
- Injury such as to the chest wall or lung
- Collapsed lung
- Blood clot that has traveled to a lung (pulmonary embolism)
Other causes of chest pain include:
- Lung problems such as pneumonia or bronchitis (if severe enough, these might also need
- Hiatal hernia
- Pulled muscle
- Swallowing too much air
How do you know when you need medical help for chest pain? It's not always easy to tell. If
you're not sure why your chest hurts, it's best to check it out. Getting help for a heart attack, lung
injury or other serious conditions, could save your life.
Questions to Ask
|Is the person not breathing and has no pulse?|
|Do CPR and Get Emergency Care|
|Is the person not breathing, but has a pulse?|
|Do rescue breathing and Get Emergency Care|
|Is the victim unconscious, but is breathing and does have a pulse?|
|Get Emergency Care and give first aid for unconsciousness|
|Do any of these symptoms come with the chest pain?
- Pain that spreads (radiates) to the arm, neck or jaw
- Feeling of pressure, especially on the left side
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Uneven pulse or heartbeat
- Feeling anxious
|Get Emergency Care. Give first aid for a heart attack before emergency care:
- Ask the victim if he or she uses heart medicine (nitroglycerin). If yes, ask where it is, find it and
place the nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue. Give as many as 3 tablets in a 10 minute time
span if necessary.
- Help the victim get into a comfortable position. Do not have the victim lie down, especially if
he or she has breathing problems. A half-sitting position is better - with the legs up and bent at
the knees. Put a pillow or rolled towel under the knees. Support the back.
- Reassure the victim that you have called for help and will stay with him or her until you get help.
- Loosen any clothing around the victim's neck, chest and waist.
- Monitor the victim for breathing and pulse. Do CPR or Rescue Breathing, if necessary. (See CPR.)
|Did the chest pain result from a serious injury?|
|Get Emergency Care and give first aid before emergency care.
- Do CPR if no breathing and no pulse (see "CPR").
- Do Rescue Breathing if no breathing, but victim has a pulse.
- Stabilize the injured area
For an object stuck in the chest:
- Don't try to remove it
- Pack the object in place with padding and put tape around the padding so it doesn't move
- Keep the object from being hit or moved
For an open chest wound:
- (See "Cuts, Scrapes and Punctures" for first aid to control bleeding.)
- Cover the wound with gauze, a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Tape in place to seal it except for
one corner. (This keeps outside air from getting into the chest cavity, but allows any trapped air
- Have the victim sit up or at least elevate the victim's head and shoulders. Or, position the victim
with the injured side down.
- Get the victim to cough a few times every 1/2 hour. (This will help clear the lungs even though
- Give the victim a small dose of a pain reliever to help with the pain if he or she can take one.
For a fractured rib:
- If the rib has broken through the skin, apply an airtight dressing. Hold the dressing in place with
tape and your hand.
- Get the victim to lie down
If the broken rib has not pushed through the skin:
- Keep the rib from moving. Place a broad bandage, pillow or other soft object against the injured
area. Hold or tape in place. The bandaging should not be so tight that it restricts breathing. Have
the victim hold the bandaging in place if he or she can.
- Get the victim to take deep breaths and to cough a few times every half hour.
|Does the chest pain occur in a person who has had a recent operation or illness that has kept them
in bed and does he or she have the following symptoms, too?
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting or faintness
- Low fever
- Cough (with or without blood in the sputum)
- Fast heartbeat
- Pain and swelling in a leg prior to the symptoms listed directly above
|Is there trouble breathing along with the chest pain? Does it get worse when taking deep breaths?|
|Are one or more of the following present?
- Cough with sputum of any color (pink, green, yellow, gray, etc.)
|Do belching and/or a burning sensation in the upper abdomen come with the chest pain? Does it
come and go before, during or after eating and does it get worse when bending or lying down?|
|Does the chest pain stop with antacids and do you have to take antacids often?|
|Do any of these describe the chest pain?
- It's only on one side of the chest
- It's not affected by breathing
- It comes with a burning feeling and a skin rash at the pain site
Self-care for chest pain from a pulled muscle or minor injury to the rib cage:
Self-care for chest pain from a hiatal hernia:
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Eat 5-6 frequent meals, instead of 3 meals a day. Do not eat large meals.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, peppermint, chocolate, citrus juices and carbonated
- If you have heartburn, take antacids after meals and before going to bed.
- Do not eat food or drink milk two hours before going to bed.
- Avoid bending over or lying down after eating.
- Do not wear tight clothing, tight belts, or girdles.
- Raise the head of your bed about 3 to 4 inches (40 degree angle) when you sleep.
Self-care for chest pain from anxiety and hyperventilation:
- Talk over the source of your anxiety with family, friends and clergy. If this is not enough, you
may need the help of a professional counselor or psychiatrist.
- When you hyperventilate, cover your mouth and nose with a paper bag. Breathe into the paper
bag slowly and re-breathe the air. Do this in and out at least 10 times. Remove the bag and
breathe normally a few minutes. Repeat breathing in and out of the paper bag as needed.
- Avoid using large amounts of aspirin or other salicylate-containing medicines. (Note: Do not
give aspirin or any medication that has salicylates to anyone 19 years of age or younger unless a
doctor tells you to.)