IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19

Chest and Abdominal Pains

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24/7 Emergency Care for Potentially Life-Threatening Symptoms

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.

Do Chest Pains Mean I’m Having a Heart Attack?

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 Causes and Treatments

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:

  • Heart attack: a blockage of blood flow to the heart
  • Angina: blockage of the blood vessels leading to the heart
  • Pericarditis: heart sac inflammation
  • Myocarditis: heart muscle inflammation
  • Cardiomyopathy: heart muscle disease
  • Aortic dissection: aortic tear
  • Acid reflux: heartburn
  • Gallstones: deposits of digestive fluid in the gallbladder
  • Pneumonia: a respiratory illness
  • Bruising or fractures: broken ribs may cause chest pain
  • Anxiety: sudden, excruciating psychological distress
  • And more

How Concerning Is Abdominal Pain?

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:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You’ve had abdominal surgery.
  • You have pain or pressure in your chest at the same time.
  • You have breathing difficulties.
  • You feel faint, dizzy, or disoriented.
  • You have bloody diarrhea or vomiting.
  • You are unable to have a bowel movement.
  • Your abdomen is bloated.
  • Your pain increases when you move.

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.

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