ARE YOU EXPERIENCING AN ACTIVE FLARE?
If you have chest pain, seek medical care immediately.
To accurately describe your condition to the doctor, evaluate your symptoms:
Do you have sharp chest pain in the middle of your chest (stabbing or piercing pain in the center of the chest behind the breastbone)? Does it feel like someone is sitting on your chest?
Do you have dull chest pain (ache or pressure behind the breastbone or in the left side of your chest)?
Does it hurt when you breathe in?
Does it hurt to lie down (do you need to sit up to sleep)?
Do you feel pain radiating up through your neck and shoulders?
Have you recently been sick with an infection or had any kind of heart procedure?
Do you have an underlying autoimmune condition?
If you answered YES to 1 or more of these questions, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
If this is your first potential pericarditis episode:
Go to your local emergency room
Tell the nurse or physician that you have sharp or dull chest pain that is worse when lying down
Tell the nurse or physician if you’ve had a prior heart procedure, recent illness, or an underlying autoimmune condition
If you have been diagnosed with pericarditis and you are having a recurrent flare:
If possible, call the physician who diagnosed your first (acute) episode of pericarditis
Tell the office staff that you are having recurrent (repeat) pericarditis
Describe anything that might have triggered the flare (recent viral infection, drinking alcohol or caffeine, hot weather, increased heart rate)
Follow your physician’s medical advice