February 28, 2020

Chest Pain Warning Signs

(guitar music) – The importance of
identifying chest pain promptly is a big deal in this country. Every year about a million
people have heart attacks and a third of them will actually die before they get medical care. The typical signs and
symptoms in women and men are chest pressure and ache. Sometimes it’ll even feel like pain radiating in the
arms or into the jaw. Sometimes a person has a sore throat. With men, often we see
typical retrosternal, meaning behind the chest bone pain, and that can feel like
an ache or pressure. It often lasts minutes. Now this can radiate, as I noted before, into the jaw, into your
arms, or into your back. Sometimes you’ll feel sweaty. Sometimes you’ll feel short of breath. Women are a little different though. Sometimes they don’t have
heart attacks as early and sometimes their
symptoms are different. For example, they may just
feel fatigued or weak. They may feel lightheaded or dizzy. And in fact, these symptoms
may be so non-specific that they don’t think
of them as chest pain related to a heart attack. People will often take too long in coming to a hospital
or to a clinic to be seen and they’ll think, maybe
it’s a muscle strain, maybe it’s heartburn, or maybe, they don’t want to realize
that that’s truly what it is and so they ignore it. When you come to the emergency department, whether it’s by private car or whether it’s by ambulance,
you’ll be seen immediately by nurses and doctors, who will rapidly take your history, do a physical exam, and then
perform a number of tests including electrocardiograms,
perhaps blood tests, to rapidly diagnose if this
indeed a serious condition that needs immediate treatment. If it is, they go to into
certain protocols and treatments that will take immediate care of patients who have heart attacks. And they will also help
stratify the chest pain, that’s an immediate problem, or if this is something less serious it can be treated as an outpatient or something by your own family physician. (upbeat music)

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