The Society of Chest Pain Centers has designated Parkridge Medical Center as a Chest Pain Center v5 with Primary PCI Accreditation and Parkridge East Hospital in East Ridge as an Accredited Chest Pain Center. This means we have a team of specialists ready to rapidly treat heart attacks as soon as patients enter our doors. Such accreditation means we have procedures in place to reduce time to treatment during the early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective.
Understanding Chest Pain
Sudden chest pain and shortness of breath are two of the most common reasons to seek emergency care. Chest pain (angina) is often difficult to interpret. Many people cannot tell the difference between heartburn or heart attack. Sudden, unexpected chest pain can be a potentially life-threatening symptom or a warning sign of another condition.
Types of Chest Pain
Chest pain can occur when your heart is not getting enough blood. You could feel aching, tightening, pressure or squeezing pain in the chest. Chest pain can also radiate to your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back. There are several different types of chest pain:
- Stable angina - has a predictable pattern and intensity
- Unstable angina - unpredictable, more severe and intense
- Variant angina - severe, temporary spasm that suddenly occurs while resting
Chest pain can also produce different symptoms in women such as pressure in the lower chest, upper abdomen and back and extreme fatigue that can last several hours, weeks or days.
Heart-Related Chest Pain
Heart-related chest pain can come and go and often varies in intensity (worse with activity). Also, chest pain caused by a heart problem sometimes comes with other symptoms such as:
- Tightening in chest
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or fatigue
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
Non Heart-Related Chest Pain
Chest pain can also be a symptom of a non heart-related issue. Other symptoms include:
- Bitter or sour taste in your mouth
- Sharp burning below your ribs or breast bone
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain that changes when you move positions
Accredited Chest Pain Center
Parkridge Medical Center has earned Accredited Chest Pain Center with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) status from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. An accredited chest pain center with PCI recognizes that a hospital has dedicated interventional cardiologists, and cardiology and emergency personnel trained in rapid response and treatment of heart attacks, which ensures reduced heart muscle damage. Chest Pain Center Accreditation requires processes be in place to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective.
Causes of Chest Pain
Chest pain can be a symptom of several different conditions. The most common include (but are not limited to):
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Heart Attack
- Heart Failure
- Heart Valve Problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Atrial Fibrillation (afib)
- Pneumonia (infection)
- Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot)
- Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Only a medical professional can diagnose and treat your symptoms. Call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency.