The nurse is assessing a patient with acute chest pain. Which of the following indicates angina pectoris?

Pain in the chest spreading to arms and back
Pain occurring with activity
Pain relieved by rest

Explanation

• Angina pectoris is caused by increased oxygen demand and decreased oxygen supply to the heart. With activity, cardiac output and oxygen demand increases. Without an adequate oxygen supply to the heart, ischemia and pain develop.

• Angina is usually self-limiting and often lasts for only 10 or 15 minutes.  Pain is usually brought on by activity (such as walking) and ceases after resting.

• Patients may have chest pain related to eating (heartburn) and breathing (pleurisy), but this is generally not related to angina pectoris.

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