Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Chest Pain Treatment

Call 911

For possible heart attack symptoms and treatment, see Heart Attack Treatment.

For Angina

1. Treat With Nitroglycerin

If the person gets angina and has been prescribed nitroglycerin:

  • Dissolve 1 nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue (or use nitroglycerin spray under the tongue).
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • If the person still has angina, call 911.

If the person has been diagnosed with chronic stable angina:

  • Dissolve 1 nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue (or use nitroglycerin spray under the tongue).
  • Repeat every 5 minutes until the person has taken 3 tablets in 15 minutes.
  • If the person still has angina after 3 doses, call 911.

2. Follow Up

If the person goes to the hospital:

  • An emergency department doctor will examine the person and run tests to see if the chest pain stems from a heart attack or another cause. Tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray, and blood tests.
  • Inform the person’s doctor about the chest pain and ER visit.

For GERD (Acid Reflux)

Call 911 if: The person has possible heart attack symptoms, such as shortness of breath or arm or jaw pain. Heart attacks can be mistaken for GERD.

1. Treat With Over-the-Counter Antacids

2. Follow Up

  • If the person goes to the hospital, an emergency department doctor will examine the person and run tests to see if the chest pain stems from a heart attack or another cause. Tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray, and blood tests.
  • Inform the person’s doctor about the chest pain and ER visit.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 22, 2013

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Slideshow
Person taking food from oven
Q&A
 
sniffling child
Slideshow
wound care true or false
Slideshow
 
caring for wounds
Slideshow
Harvest mite
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More