You should call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance immediately if:
- your chest pain is severe, or worsening, or lasts longer than 10 minutes
- your chest pain feels heavy, crushing or tight
- you have other symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea, dizziness or a cold sweat
- you also feel the pain in your jaw or down your left arm
Stop any activity and rest. Loosen any tight clothing, such as collar buttons or ties. Avoid breathing in cigarette smoke. Don’t have anything to eat or drink.
Don’t try to drive yourself to hospital. Wait for the ambulance. If you have been prescribed angina medicine, sit or lie down and take a dose of this under your tongue. If this doesn’t relieve your symptoms in 5 minutes, try taking 2 more doses at 5 minute intervals.
Chew 300mg of aspirin (1 full-strength tablet) straight away, unless you are allergic or your doctor has told you not to. Do not give aspirin to anyone under 16 years.
If the pain you have does not sound like that described above, then it's still important to see a doctor soon. Remember, all chest pain should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your chest pain, use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: June 2019