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Chest Pain


Learn the signs of a heart attack in this video.

Chest Pain

Chest pain can represent a variety of ailments and illnesses, ranging from the inflammation of the chest wall to acid reflux to heart attack. At The Urgency Room, your health is our priority, and we’re dedicated to getting you on your feet again. To that end, we’ve put together some helpful information on what to do after you’ve visited one of our offices and been diagnosed with chest pain.

You most likely had an evaluation today that included an electrocardiogram (also known as an EKG test), a chest X-ray, and laboratory work. At this time, your UR physician found no signs that your chest pain is due to a life-threatening condition. However, some serious problems may not show up right away. Make an appointment with your primary doctor for further outpatient evaluation within three days of your visit to The Urgency Room. And if your doctor has referred you for a heart stress test, please get one scheduled as soon as possible.

Signs of Heart Attack

One dangerous cause of chest pain is a heart attack. While symptoms can vary, here’s what to watch for:

  • Heaviness or pressure in your chest that can radiate to your neck, back, or arm
  • Shortness of breath

In women, the signs of heart attack can be very atypical—women don’t necessarily feel the tightness of chest that men report. Instead, they may notice the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of indigestion or nausea
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath

Keep in mind that any diagnosis for chest pain is based on your medical history and physical exam. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great diagnostic test for chest pain that can show you’ve had a heart attack. In fact, reading an EKG to determine your heart health is like trying to determine the plot of a movie from a single frame: your EKG is always moving, and it only helps us if we see stress or strain on the EKG. If your results are normal, that doesn’t mean your heart pain isn’t real—it just means that you’re not doing damage to your heart.

At-Home Care

Once your physician clears you to head home, there are a few general steps you can take to protect your health:

  • Get plenty of rest and keep hydrated
  • Don’t overexert yourself or exercise unless otherwise instructed by your physician
  • Take Aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen as directed by your doctor

Come back to the UR if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Your chest pain changes, gets worse, starts to happen more often, or comes with less activity
  • You are short of breath
  • You get very weak or tired
  • You pass out or faint
  • You develop any new symptoms like fever, cough, numb legs, or you cough up blood

We hope you take good care of yourself now that you’re home. Remember—it’s never a bad idea to get checked out if you’re worried about something.

DISCLAIMER:

These videos are intended to provide helpful health information to the general public. They are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat health problems, and you should not use these videos in place of a call or visit to a medical professional. Talk with your physician about the proper treatment for your particular condition, and always follow your physician's advice. If you think you need an ambulance or are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911 immediately.


DISCLAIMER:

These videos are intended to provide helpful health information to the general public. They are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat health problems, and you should not use these videos in place of a call or visit to a medical professional. Talk with your physician about the proper treatment for your particular condition, and always follow your physician's advice. If you think you need an ambulance or are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911 immediately.

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