When to see a doctor if you have angina?
If you have been diagnosed with stable angina & it gets worse, see your Cardiologist immediately.
If chest discomfort is a new symptom for you, it's important to see your heart doctor and do ECG to find out what's causing your chest pain & to get proper treatment.
If your chest pain lasts longer than a few minutes (preferably more than 5 minutes) & doesn't go away when you take rest or take your angina medications (GTN spray or Sorbitrate), it may be a sign you're having a heart attack. Do not keep Sorbitrate under your tongue without checking your BP. It can lead to sudden drop in BP which may be life threatening. Call an ambulance or emergency medical help. Only drive yourself to the hospital as a last resort.
Do not waste time in taking acidity medicines, ENO or home based remedy.
Do not ask your heart doctor to come home. It wastes precious time in a heart attack.
It is best to visit a heart hospital or a Cardiologist and get an ECG done within the FIRST 15 MINUTES of onset of chest pain or chest discomfort.
ECG detects a major heart attack, also called ST elevation myocardial infarction. The best treatment for the same is emergency angioplasty if it is available. Emergency angioplasty is best done within the first 6 hours of onset of chest pain or chest discomfort. The initial few hours in a heart attack are extremely important to protect the heart muscle. Hence this period is called the golden period.
If emergency angioplasty is not available, your doctor will give you a blood thinning injection followed by an angiography or angioplasty within 24 hours.
If you have chest pain or chest discomfort, and your ECG is normal it could still be a heart attack. This type of heart attack is called non ST elevation myocardial infarction. It is important to get admitted for observation in the intensive care unit (ICU) if you have persistent symptoms. Your doctor will do serial ECG, 2D echocardiography and serial blood tests called Troponin estimation. If there is slightest doubt of a heart attack, it is best to undergo an early coronary angiography.