Chest pain describes many different sensations, such as a sharp pain, dull ache, pressure, or burning and can signal many different conditions, including a heart attack. It should always be taken seriously.
What to Do
- Call 911
- Sit or lie down
- Do NOT go to the hospital in a private car. You might need emergency care on the way to the hospital — which ambulance staff can provide.
Chest pain can be caused by a number of health conditions. Many of these are serious, and some are medical emergencies.
- Heart conditions: angina, aortic dissection, coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, heart valve disease, pericarditis (inflammation around the heart)
- Lung conditions: pulmonary embolism (blood clot in your lungs), inflammation of lung membranes that can happen with pneumonia (pleurisy)
- Other conditions: heartburn, inflammation of the rib or cartilage connecting the rib (costochondritis)