Although chest pain does not always indicate a heart attack, emergency room providers prioritize testing for it due to the potential immediate threat to life. They also look for other potentially fatal lung conditions, such as a collapsed lung or a blood clot in the lung. Visit this page if you are looking for a Bakersfield chest pain specialist.
List of tests that are done:
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is frequently used as an immediate test for determining the cause of chest pain. This quick test measures the electrical activity of the heart and can detect irregularities, determine heart rate, and indicate whether or not a heart attack has occurred or is occurring.
To determine the cause of chest pain, doctors may use blood tests to look for heart proteins, chest X-rays to evaluate lung and heart conditions, and CT scans to look for blood clots or aortic dissections.
What are the follow-up tests?
Follow-up testing for chest pain may include an echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to create heart videos, and a CT scan to look for blockages in the heart arteries. A CT coronary angiogram with dye can detect potential blockages and other problems in the heart and lung arteries.
Walking or biking while heart rhythm is monitored is used in stress tests to assess the heart’s response to exercise. If you are unable to exercise, medications that mimic the effects of exercise may be prescribed. Coronary catheterization detects heart artery blockages by inserting a dye-filled tube through a blood vessel and observing the arteries on X-ray images and video.
What is the treatment?
The treatment for chest pain is determined by the cause. During a heart attack, common treatments include artery relaxers like nitroglycerin, aspirin if heart-related, and clot-busting drugs to dissolve clots blocking blood flow to the heart muscle.
Blood thinners are used to prevent clots, acid-reducing medications are used to treat acid reflux, and antidepressants or talk therapy are used to treat panic attacks.
Angioplasty and stent placement to remove artery blockages, coronary artery bypass surgery to create new pathways, emergency repair surgery for aortic dissection, and lung reinflation using a tube to expand collapsed lungs are some other treatments.
Call 911 or seek emergency medical services immediately if you experience severe or unexplained chest pain that lasts more than a few moments. Don’t put off getting help because you’re afraid of being embarrassed; regardless of the reason, getting help right away is critical.