When Do Chest Pains Warrant a Trip to the ER?

Treating your chest pain at NJ Cardiovascular Institute, located in Newark and Secaucus, New Jersey, can prevent serious comp

Chest pain is a common symptom in the United States. Each year more than eight million Americans visit the ER because of chest pain. It’s the second biggest cause of ER visits.

Our team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute, which includes board-certified cardiologist Dr. Kunal Patel, knows that chest pain can be scary. But we also know that not all cases of chest pain warrant a trip to the ER. So let’s discuss when you should go to the ER for chest pain.

Common causes of chest pain

While chest pain is a telltale sign of heart problems, it could be from a different medical condition, including:

Some medical conditions may feel like a heart attack. Myocarditis, for example, has similar symptoms to a heart attack. So, knowing if your chest pain is from a heart attack or other heart conditions is important.

Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease is a serious condition that can lead to a heart attack. It occurs when your arteries become narrow or blocked by plaque build-up. Long-term high cholesterol often causes coronary artery disease.

The main symptoms of coronary artery disease are chest pain and angina. Angina causes a crushing or squeezing feeling in your chest. It also causes chest pain that can spread to your arms, neck, and jaw. Go to the ER immediately if you experience these symptoms.

Chest pain not caused by heart disease

Chest pain that’s caused by a muscle strain isn’t the same as heart-related pain. It’s likely that your chest pain is not from heart disease if:

Never dismiss chest pain — no matter what’s causing it. If your chest pain is severe and it concerns you, go to the ER. Don’t take any chances when it comes to your health.

When to visit the ER for chest pain

You should go to the ER if you experience chest pain along with other symptoms. This usually indicates a heart attack. Call 911 or get to the ER right away if you experience chest pain with:

Heart attacks are often fatal and can cause permanent damage to your heart. That’s why if you experience heart attack symptoms, get medical help. The sooner it’s treated, the less damage it does.

Treating your chest pain

As mentioned, not all occurrences of chest pain need emergency medical help. However, it can eventually lead to more serious problems and put you at a greater risk for heart attacks. 

Treating your chest pain at NJ Cardiovascular Institute, located in Newark and Secaucus, New Jersey, can prevent serious complications. To set up your appointment with Dr. Patel, use our online booking tool or call the office.

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