September 19, 2019
Chest Pain: The 5 potentially lethal causes of chest pain

Chest Pain: The 5 potentially lethal causes of chest pain


Chest pain is the one of the most frequent
reasons people come to the Emergency Department. Its numerous causes range from benign to life-threatening,
with overlapping symptoms, making identification of serious problems difficult. Our goal is to tease out who is having, or
at risk of having, an emergent problem. Symptoms of chest pain can be caused by acute
coronary syndromes from myocardial ischemia or angina, or can have a non-cardiac origin. The most severe life-threatening causes of
chest pain can be remembered using the mnemonic MAP IT: Myocardial infarction
Aortic Dissection or Aneurysm Pulmonary embolus, Pericarditis and Pneumothorax
Intestinal causes Tamponade Patients may describe “crushing” chest
pain like “an elephant sitting on my chest” that radiates to the jaw or left shoulder
and arm. They may sweat a lot, can’t get comfortable,
are anxious, vomiting, have shortness of breath or feel faint. Heart attacks may present atypically, especially
in women, elderly and diabetics. Unfortunately, these same symptoms characterize
those suffering from thoracic aortic dissection or rupturing aneurysm. Sometimes, patients complain of tearing chest
pain radiating through to the upper back. Pericardial effusion itself may not be life-threatening,
but progression to tamponade causes obstructive shock. It can occur from trauma, cancer or pericardial
inflammation like in pericarditis. Pulmonary embolus causes chest or back pain
especially when deep breathing, and may occur with shortness of breath, low oxygen saturation
or tachycardia. Pneumothorax can be traumatic or spontaneous,
with introduction of air into the pleural space gradually forcing the lung to shrink. It can progress to tension pneumothorax, an
immediate life-threatening process. Intestinal problems like gastritis or acid-reflux
disease are frequent benign mimickers of dangerous chest pain etiologies. But others, like bleeding peptic ulcers or
cholecystitis may be fatal. Evaluating chest pain can be a difficult process. In emergent situations, there may not be time
to wait for labwork or imaging studies, and physical examination is often not sensitive
enough to make a definitive diagnosis. Point-of-Care Ultrasound has become crucial
to diagnosing these conditions quickly, leading to faster management, improved patient care,
and lives saved.

1 thought on “Chest Pain: The 5 potentially lethal causes of chest pain

  1. Gas induced myocardium ischemia Cardiac decompression by fgtubing Chest pain relieving open Google Doc Rajendra sheregar And see images videos litreture medical science institution

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