Chest Pain Center Emergency Room: 10 Tips
Chest pain has become a challenging and a life-threatening condition over the time, with 2%-4% of emergency cases arising from this condition. Chest pain may at a time be an indicator of a developing heart attack and therefore requires proper equipment at any emergency center. Once a victim of heart pain is taken into the emergency room, according to FrontLine ER there are several things that the medical team perform to ascertain the seriousness of the condition.
Depending on the symptoms, the following are tips on activities that will be initiated:
Electrocardiogram (ECG) test
As stated, chest pain can be a possible indicator of a heart attack. The health of the heart is evaluated using an electrocardiogram test that provides information about the heart health and other conditions like:
Cardiomyopathy: The test is done to determine the nature of the heart and whether they have thickened or contracted.
Coronary Artery disease: This test determines if there is a buildup of plaque or any material along the walls of the arteries.
Heart Murmurs: Heart murmurs determine any significant dilation and contraction of the muscles. It is done using a special stethoscope which determines the rate at which these muscles behave. In general, ECG shows if there is a possibility of heart failure due to chest pains.
Patients in the emergency room have to undergo chest x-rays tests to determine the state of the muscles internally. X-Rays help to rule out or diagnose other problems within the chest such as muscle rupture or internal bleeding.
Blood tests are vital in measuring troponin. Troponin is a muscle within the body that rises when responding to any condition of muscle damage in the chest cavity. When the troponin levels are normal, the doctor performs a stress exercise test to determine the hearts response to the demands of increased blood flow.
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) Scan
In certain situations, all tests may not reveal the cause of the chest pains. Physicians, therefore, opt for the CTA scan whenever the source of the symptoms is still not clear. For this test, the patient receives a contrast dye injection on their hands or arm. The dye illuminates an image that reveals a view of the heart arteries. A CTA scan can also include nuclear perfusion test that involves an injection of a radioactive substance into the veins.
The radioactive substance, tracer, travels through the blood to the heart. Using a special camera, the movement of the tracer is traced as the camera takes images from different angles. The images can then be combined to create a detailed picture of the chest and heart muscles.
Chest pains can result in depletion of oxygen supply in the blood system. Therapy is therefore done to determine the amount of oxygen supply in the body. If the supply is not normal or is low, a small device is placed over your nose and mouth. Oxygen then flows in through nasal prongs, breathing tubes or nasal masks. This helps to maintain a stable oxygen supply to the muscles.
Echocardiography is a better test for assessing the motion of cardiac walls. The test detects any abnormalities that may be induced by ischemia. The time of the test is, however, long since the motion of the walls varies according to the case at hand. To improve the quality of images, doctors use an echocardiographic contrast agent to take the photos of the walls.
Stress can be another big problem whenever one is faced with chest pain. A stress test is, therefore, carried out to measure how the heart and blood vessels are responding to the rapid contraction and relaxation of the chest muscles. The tests can be in the form of walking on a treadmill or cycling a bike hooked on an ECG machine.
Aspirin and Thrombolytic Drugs
Aspirin is an important drug that helps to thin the blood thereby reducing the effects of inflammation. Aspirin helps to ease the chest pains, prevent the formation of blood clots and stabilize the heartbeat rate. The thrombolytic drugs on the other hand act as clot-busting drugs. They dissolve any clots forming around the heart and chest muscles.
After the doctors diagnose that the pain may be arising from the heart, the patient is given a tablet called nitroglycerin. The tablet relaxes the arteries in the heart to enhance the normal blood flow along these arteries. Blood pressure medication can also be administered to widen and relax the remaining blood vessels.
The medical team has to perform procedures to treat the chest pain. Some of the surgeries that can be performed are:
Bypass Surgery: An alternative route has to be created for blood to flow in the body. To achieve this, surgeons take a blood vessel from any other part of the body then use that part to create the alternative route. Dissection Repair repairs an aortic dissection.
Lung Reflation: Chest pain may make the lungs to collapse. A tube is inserted into your chest to inflate these lungs.
Chest pain can be fatal if not treated at the early stages. Visit FrontLine ER medical assistance and treatment.