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What is causing this electric shock sensation across upper chest and back
My mother has two coughing fits today.  She is 49, and a smoker.  The first one had no stimulation, she just started coughing heavily, and she told me once she could talk again that she had experienced a feeling almost like an electric shock going outward from her body across her upper chest (where one would administer cpr on someone overweight or pregnant) and in the same place across her back.  
She later started coughing again (while eating a candy, that she says she swallowed, and felt go down all the way RIGHT before this happened).  This time she was simply wheezing, she couldn't get air in.  She also admitted to having smoked a cigarette shortly before this.  
Her chest and back is very sore right now, and I'm thinking it might just be from all the coughing, but I'm still worried.  
Please, could anyone tell me what could be causing this?  And if it is anything serious/ should we go to the hospital?
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