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Angina Pectoris (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

If the patient has never had these symptoms, can call the healthcare provider, especially if the patient is uncertain of the symptoms or what action to should take.

  • Do not delay calling 911. Do not wait for a call back from the doctor. Do not "wait it out." To wait is to risk your life.
  • Emergency personnel are trained to recognize angina and to treat it rapidly and safely.

If the patient has had angina before, they may not need to seek medical care if the symptoms are the same as they always are.

  • If the patient has already been evaluated by a healthcare provider and received advice about how to react to these symptoms, follow that advice.
  • This usually involves rest, removing the stressor, and taking sublingual nitroglycerin.

If the patient has had angina before, go to the nearest hospital emergency department if any of the following situations occur:

  • If the usual pattern of angina symptoms changes in any way
  • If the symptoms are different than usual or more severe
  • If the symptoms occur at rest or with less activity than usual
  • If the symptoms do not get better with rest or sublingual nitroglycerin
  • If the patient is not certain about what to do

Any of these situations may be a medical emergency and requires a visit to a hospital emergency department.

  • Don't delay or try to "wait it out."
  • Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
  • Call 911 for emergency medical transport.

If a person believes they have risk factors for angina, but no symptoms, they should call a healthcare provider to arrange for an evaluation in the office. Don't wait for symptoms to occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Angina Pectoris »

Angina pectoris is the result of myocardial ischemia caused by an imbalance between myocardial blood supply and oxygen demand.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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