Experts recommend not putting off calling an ambulance or heading to the emergency room when experiencing chest pain.

People often put off calling an ambulance or heading to the emergency room when they experience chest pain because they believe it’s something else, like indigestion or a pulled muscle.

Every second counts because once the damage is done, it’s impossible to repair. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to chest pain or if your symptoms look like a cardiac event. Here are the symptoms to look for.

Cardiac Event Symptoms

Though chest pain is the most common symptom associated with a heart attack, cardiac events can also present in different ways. It can sometimes feel like it’s coming from your back, left arm, left shoulder, neck, jaw or even a tooth. You may also only feel pain in those other areas without any chest or back pain, but it will likely feel like it’s radiating from your chest or back.

Symptoms to watch for:

• Clamminess or sweating

• Heart palpitations

• Lightheadedness or fainting

• Nausea

• Shortness of breath

• Vomiting

If any of these symptoms come on suddenly, you should take them very seriously. Trust your body—it will tell you when something is seriously wrong.
Call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to drive yourself to the emergency department. The EMTs have life-saving skills that you may need on the way to the emergency department.

Other Serious Conditions That Can Cause Chest Pain

Many other non-life-threatening conditions and diseases can present in similar ways to a heart attack, but some are life-threatening and should also be treated as soon as possible by calling 911.

Angina presents almost identically to a heart attack.

Blood clots in your lungs can also cause chest pain.

Dissecting aneurysm is another life-threatening condition with similar pain.

To find the AdventHealth emergency room location nearest to you, visit

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