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What Everyone Should Know About Chest Pain

Chest pain, also called angina, is a feeling of tightness, pressure, or general discomfort in your chest that occurs when the heart doesn’t receive sufficient oxygen. This feeling of pain is not a disease or disorder itself, but a symptom associated with a number of heart and vascular conditions. While some patients experience chronic angina due to a known heart condition, chest pain with no prior history could be a symptom of a heart attack—if you experience chest pain without a clear cause, it’s vital to visit your local emergency care center for an evaluation immediately.

Chest Pain and Heart Attack

Chest pain is a common, but not necessary, symptom of a heart attack. This is because during a heart attack, the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, which also starves the heart of oxygen and frequently causes pain. Many heart attack patients describe their angina as persistent pain, pressure, squeezing, or even a feeling of fullness in the center of the chest. If you experience sudden unexplained chest pain, call 911 for transportation to the ER right away.

Chest Pain and Other Vascular Conditions

Although chest pain is most often associated with a heart attack in media and movies, there are many other potential causes for this condition as well. A few of these causes are serious, such as a pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection, which both require emergency care as well. While other causes of angina are less immediately life-threatening, they still signal the need for ongoing heart care. These causes include heart and vascular disorders such as coronary heart disease, coronary microvascular disease, and ischemia.

Chest pain is a sign that your heart is not receiving the oxygen it needs to function effectively and that targeted care is needed. Palms West Hospital is proud to be an Accredited Chest Pain Center; our hospital and ER in Loxahatchee, FL, specializes in emergency and critical care for heart and vascular disease. You can find out more about our cardiac services on the web, or by calling (561) 345-7009.

Categories: Health Tips

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