Chest pain

There are two heart conditions that need immediate emergency care; a heart attack and a cardiac arrest. If a person suffering from one of these doesn’t get medical help quickly, they could die.

Heart attack

A heart attack happens when an artery becomes obstructed, restricting the flow of blood to the heart. The most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain, though there are other symptoms. Left untreated it can lead to a cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating.

Symptoms can include:

  • chest pain – the chest can feel like it is being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling weak and/or light headed
  • overwhelming feeling of anxiety.

Cardiac arrest

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and can be a result of heart attack, choking or trauma.

If someone is suffering from either of these conditions you need to call 999 for an ambulance immediately.

The number of people surviving cardiac arrest has risen significantly over the past few years, but more can still be done. Learn to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack or cardiac arrest and the action you can take, and you may be able to save someone's life.

How to use a defibrillator

Our community partnership manager for Suffolk, Jon Needle shows how to use a defibrillator and demonstrates CPR. 

Video courtesy of Bury Free Press