When Chest Pain Strikes, Fast Treatment is Critical.
St. Luke’s Heart & Vascular Health Center has received full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the ACC (American College of Cardiology). This accreditation means the methodical, outcome-based approach to cardiac care at St. Luke’s has allowed us to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack.
Our 24-hour Chest Pain Center team knows how to identify patients who may be having a heart attack – even when they don’t display the usual symptoms. Patients are referred through either the St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department or from a cardiologist. The key to successfully treating a heart attack is early detection and treatment.
The St. Luke’s Accredited Chest Pain Center is set up for patient stabilization, observation, diagnosis, and to help cardiologists determine the appropriate course of treatment.
What Does Chest Pain Mean?
Chest pain comes in many forms, ranging from a sharp stab to a dull ache. Some chest pain is described as crushing or burning. In certain cases, the pain travels up the neck, into the jaw, and then radiates through to the back or down one or both arms.
There are many possible causes of chest pain. The most life-threatening ones involve the heart or lungs. Because it can be difficult to know the exact cause of chest pain, it’s best to seek immediate medical help.
Chest Pain that Could Be Heart-Related
Although chest pain is commonly attributed to heart disease, many people with a heart disease diagnosis say they experienced a vague discomfort which they wouldn’t describe as “pain”.
In general, chest discomfort related to a heart attack or other heart problem may be described by, or associated with, one or more of the following:
- Pressure, fullness or tightness in your chest
- Crushing or searing pain that radiates to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders and arms — particularly your left arm
- Pain that lasts more than a few minutes, gets worse with activity, goes away and comes back or varies in intensity
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
- Dizziness or weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
If you have new or unexplained chest pain, or for any reason, suspect you’re having a heart attack, call for emergency medical help immediately.