Simultaneous pain felt in the arm and chest is most often a sign of a heart attack. Symptoms usually last over 30 minutes, but emergency help should be contacted immediately, says WebMD.
Other symptoms of heart attacks include fullness, indigestion, choking, sweating, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. A person may also feel a discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm. Heart attacks can also occur without any symptoms. Known as a silent myocardial infarction, these attacks are most common among people with diabetes, according to WebMD. To diagnose a heart attack, doctors can perform blood tests, echocardiography or electrocardiograms.
Treatment of a heart attack should begin immediately to ensure the least amount of heart damage. Drugs are often administered to break up or prevent blood clots, prevent platelets from gathering and sticking to plaque, stabilize plaque, and prevent further ischemia, claims WebMD.
A patient may be directed to a cardiac cath lab during or after a heart attack for evaluation of the heart and arteries, reports WebMD. Some cases may involve performing procedures to open up a patient's narrowed or blocked arteries.
Treatment of a heart attack does not prevent future attacks. After an attack, patients should take medications, lead healthier lives and see a doctor for regular heart checkups, says WebMD.