Chest pain is the number one symptom of a heart attack. Sometimes it comes and goes quickly. Sometimes it's a dull, but persistent sensation. But it's always something you should have checked. It can be a sign of heart disease or a symptom of a heart attack. Heart disease can also lead to an attack as the heart arteries become blocked and deprive the heart of proper blood flow.
The American Heart Association and McLeod Chest Pain Center experts list the following common signs and symptoms you should know.
Signs + Symptoms of Heart Trouble
- A mild discomfort of nagging pain in the chest
- Recurrent discomfort; feels like indigestion
- Pain in chest, neck, back and shoulders
- Shortness of breath
McLeod Chest Pain Center
With a heart attack, time is of the essence. If adequate blood flow isn't reestablished quickly, permanent damage to the heart may occur. For this reason, it is important that every chest pain be taken seriously.
That's where the McLeod Chest Pain Center comes in. McLeod offers a dedicated full-spectrum emergency cardiac care program to evaluate your situation before it gets worse and in many cases, prevent a severe heart attack. The McLeod Chest Pain Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by experienced healthcare professionals who are especially trained in recognizing and treating a heart attack. The Center, is located within the McLeod Emergency Department, just a few paces away from McLeod's state-of-the-art interventional technology and diagnostics as well as heart catheterization labs and premier open heart surgery suites, when this expertise is required.
According to Dr. Jeremy Robertson, Medical Director of the McLeod Emergency Department, "Patients can be quite confident of the quality of this specialized treatment area. The protocols and processes being followed are based on best practices, after extensive literature reviews, research, and referencing in emergency cardiac care. These procedures are evidence-based -- tailored and developed from the input and feedback of many McLeod physicians and cardiologists involved in the treatment of patients in this region."
All patients with suspected cardiac chest discomfort will be seen in the Chest Pain Center and those patients felt to be at low-risk for having an AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction, or heart attack) will be ruled out by serial enzymes and exercise stress tests within the Chest Pain Center -- on average -- within 15 hours.
"The McLeod Chest Pain Center is here to provide you with a sense of security. If your heart checks out okay, you can go home in a matter of hours knowing that you have received the best in cardiac care. We don't ignore chest pain. And, neither should you," said Dr. Robertson.