POP QUIZ: Chest Pain: What Is Your Body Telling You?

POP QUIZ: Chest Pain: What Is Your Body Telling  You?

Did you know that of the millions of Americans who visit the emergency room with chest every year, only 20 percent are actually diagnosed with a heart attack or other serious heart condition—like unstable angina—and the other 80 percent are suffering with something different? While some instances of chest pain that are unrelated to a heart attack are life-threatening, most instances of chest pain are related to something that’s not life-threatening. Take our quiz and learn about the signs of a heart attack and other maladies that can be the cause of chest pains.

1.) What is the best course of action if you genuinely feel you are suffering from a heart attack?

  1. Wait and see if it gets better.
  2. Google your symptoms.
  3. Call 911 to take an ambulance to a hospital.
  4. Make a doctor’s appointment.

 

2.) True or False? Different people experience different symptoms when experiencing a heart attack.

3.) Since chest pain isn’t generally the only symptom of a heart attack, what are the other symptoms that you could experience?

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or pain in the center of the chest.
  2. Pain, numbness, pinching, prickling, or other uncomfortable sensations in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath, lightheadedness or dizziness, unusual fatigue, sudden heaviness, weakness, or aching in one or both arms.
  4. Sudden nausea or vomiting, heat/flushing or a cold sweat.
  5. All of the above.

4.) What is the definition of angina?

  1. When part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress.
  2. A heart spasm.
  3. An abnormal heartbeat caused by stress or injury.
  4. None of the above.

 

5.) What other maladies could cause chest pain similar to that of a heart attack?

  1. A pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the lungs that constitutes a medical emergency.
  2. An aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of the aorta that can be life-threatening.
  3. Illnesses like pancreatitis, pneumonia, indigestion, etc. 
  4. Mental conditions like a panic attack.
  5. All of the above. 

 

6.) Which is most likely to be symptoms of a heart attack, A or B?

  1. Sensation of pain, or of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or burning.
  2. Sharp or knifelike pain brought on by breathing or coughing.

 

7.) Which is most likely to be symptoms of a heart attack, A or B?

  1. Sudden stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds.
  2. Gradual onset of pain over the course of a few minutes.

 

8.) Which is most likely to be symptoms of a heart attack, A or B?

  1. Pain distinctly on one side of the body or the other.
  2. Pain in a diffuse area, including a constant pain in the middle of the chest.

 

9.) Which is most likely to be symptoms of a heart attack, A or B?

  1. Pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back.
  2. Pain that is localized to one small spot.

 

10.) Which is most likely to be a symptom of a heart attack, A or B?

  1. Pain or pressure that appears during or after physical exertion or emotional stress (heart attack) or while you are at rest (unstable angina).
  2. Pain reproduced by pressing on the chest or with body motion.

 

compiled by ERIKA ALDRICH / Information provided by Harvard Health

ANSWERS:

  1. C. Call 911 to take an ambulance to a hospital. If you think you are having a heart attack, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  2. True. Symptoms for a heart attack are not universal.
  3. E. All of the above. There is a range of symptoms that indicate a heart attack.
  4. A. When part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress.
  5. E. All of the above.
  6. A. Sensation of pain, or of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or burning.
  7. B. Gradual onset of pain over the course of a few minutes.
  8. B. Pain in a diffuse area, including a constant pain in the middle of the chest.
  9. A. Pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back.
  10. A. Pain or pressure that appears during or after physical exertion or emotional stress (heart attack) or while you are at rest (unstable angina).