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Good to know-CHEST PAIN

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by Eugeniafaith, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. E

    Eugeniafaith Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
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    Chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack may be similar to or different from chest pain caused by other conditions. Depending upon the cause, chest pain can have varying qualities (sharp, dull, burning), can be located in one or several areas (middle of the chest, upper chest, back, arms, jaw, neck, or the entire chest area), pain may improve or worsen with activity or rest, and there may be other associated symptoms (sweating, nausea, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath).

    • Quality of the pain — Patients with ischemia of the heart are likely to report chest discomfort rather than pain. A person may describe their pain as squeezing, tightness, pressure, constriction, strangling, burning, heart burn, fullness in the chest, band-like sensation, knot in the center of the chest, ache, heavy weight on chest (like an "elephant sitting on the chest"), or like a bra that is too tight. In some cases, the discomfort cannot be described, but the patient places a fist in the center of the chest, known as the "Levine sign."

      People without ischemia may describe their pain as sharp or stabbing.
    • Location of the pain — Ischemic chest pain is usually not felt in any specific spot, but rather throughout the chest. The patient may actually have difficulty saying exactly where the pain is. Cardiac pain often involves the center of the chest or upper abdomen.

      If the pain is felt only on the right or left side, and not in the center of the chest, it is less likely to be cardiac ischemia. If the patient is able to point with a finger to one area of pain, it is unlikely to be caused by cardiac ischemia

    • Radiation of pain — The chest pain of cardiac ischemia often spreads to other areas of the upper body. This may include the neck, throat, lower jaw, teeth (feeling like a toothache), or the shoulders and arms. Sometimes, pain is felt in the wrists, fingers, or back (between the shoulder blades).
    • Timing of the pain — Ischemic pain tends to come on gradually and get worse over time; it generally lasts from 2 to 5 minutes after resting if it is related to exertion.
      Cardiac risk factors
      The likelihood that a particular person is having ischemia is based upon their symptoms, physical examination, as well as the person's underlying risk of coronary disease

      For example, an elderly person with multiple risk factors, including a prior MI(MSHTUKO WA MOYO), peripheral vascular disease (claudication), stroke, heavy smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease who has unusual symptoms of angina would be treated as a person with a high risk of coronary disease.
      On the other hand, if a person in a very low risk category reports chest pain, the remote possibility of coronary disease is not ignored, although other possible causes are also investigated

      When to seek help
      If you have chest pain that is new, severe, prolonged, or if chest pain causes concern seek medical help ,
      For a patient having a heart attack, every minute is important. Remember, the faster you get to a hospital, the sooner you can receive treatment