The onset of chest or abdominal pain can be frightening and unexpected. You may be afraid you’re experiencing a heart attack, appendicitis, or a panic attack. Whether you have chest and/or abdominal pain, you may need an electrocardiogram (EKG) to record your heart’s electrical activity, blood tests to measure enzyme levels, chest X-rays, or other imaging tests like MRI scans or CT scans. Dial 9-1-1 or get to the nearest emergency room.
Whether your sudden chest pain is short but intensely painful or more of a long, dull ache, it can be a telltale sign of a heart attack. However, there are other possible causes of chest pain. About 13% of all emergency room patients are diagnosed with a serious heart-related condition. That doesn’t mean you should ignore chest pain and just hope it goes away, though. It’s especially important to be aware that certain risk factors may make you more vulnerable to heart attack, such as being a smoker, being overweight, having diabetes, and/or having high blood pressure.
Chest pain sometimes can be treated non-invasively with medications, or it may require surgical treatment. Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of your chest pain, additional treatments may be needed to manage your condition.
Chest pain may be caused by:
If you’re experiencing abdominal pain, you may wonder whether it’s worth going to the local emergency room. You could have something as mild as a stomachache, or something more serious, such as appendicitis (a condition when an organ called the appendix is about to burst).
If the following abdominal pain symptoms are true, you should seek emergency medical care:
Contact ShorePoint Health ER & Urgent Care for further information about emergency care for chest or abdominal pain. We are in-network with most major health insurance plans, including Medicare.