Chest pain is something you don’t want to ignore. There are many causes that are not serious such as muscle strain or occasional acid reflux, but many life threatening conditions exist. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Heart attack, or the warning of an impending heart attack known as angina
- Pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lung
- Pneumothorax, also known as a “popped” lung
- Dissecting aneurysm of the aorta, which is the large artery that leaves the heart
- Lung cancer
- Pericarditis, or inflammation of the heart sac
Prompt medical attention is always indicated in the evaluation of chest pain. Frequently the physician will order an EKG, blood tests, and imaging studies such as a chest xray and/or CT scan to sort out the cause. Sometimes observation in the hospital for additional workup is indicated. Outpatient testing is also frequently done to rule out heart disease as the cause of a patient’s chest pain. An exercise treadmill test (ETT), such as that done in our office, is a common test used in outpatient evaluation.
If you are experiencing severe chest pain, do not wait to schedule an appointment or visit the emergency room or urgent care. To schedule a same day appointment for chest pain evaluation, you can contact our office at 208-772-5204.
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