Question: What should I do if I get an episode of angina at work?
Answer: People who have coronary disease, of course, can have angina at any time, whether that's at home, at work, or at night. It's particularly concerning to some people who are in particular kinds of jobs that if they have an episode of angina at work that they may be embarrassed or concerned about treating it, but it's very important since angina represents a condition in which the heart muscle is not getting enough blood flow to take care of yourself if you have an episode of angina at work. If you're strenuously exerting yourself, stop what you're doing and rest.
If nitroglycerin has been prescribed to treat your angina episodes, as it is for most people, you should have nitroglycerin in your pocket so that you can use it rapidly just as you would under any circumstances. The thing, of course, not to do is to try to disregard the angina and just hope that it goes away because you're in the work place.
Now of course, we recognize this can lead to concerns at the work place, and it can particularly lead to concerns if one is in a high-stress job with a demanding boss, so carefully thinking this out in consultation with your doctor about how to manage the work place is really an important part of being a person with heart disease and also being a cardiologist helping people with heart disease.