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Chest Pain

Chest Pain

Chest pain is one of the major reasons for visits to the ER. It can present as a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache accompanied by discomfort in your chest. It is not a disease, but a symptom and can have a serious underlying condition such as heart disease needing immediate medical attention. If your chest pain is severe and lasts more than a few minutes, please visit the nearest ER.

Mercy Emergency Room is a well-equipped freestanding ER with onsite lab and imaging facilities and board-certified emergency physicians well trained in the management of chest pain and its causes.

Symptoms Associated with Chest Pain

Chest pain may vary and depend on the cause of the condition. The major symptoms of chest pain caused by heart disorders include:

  • A feeling of pressure in your chest 
  • Squeezing or tightness in the chest 
  • Burning sensation in the chest
  • Breath shortness and cold sweats
  • Dizziness or weakness and nausea 

Often, the pain may radiate to your back, neck, shoulders and arms, and can get worse with activity. 

Causes of Chest Pain

There are several factors that can cause your chest pain. Apart from heart-related problems (the main contributor), the condition may be caused by disorders associated with:

  • Your lungs
  • Digestive system 
  • Muscles or bones

Shingles (a viral infection that causes painful rashes) and panic attacks may also result in chest pain.

The chest pain caused by heart-related issues can be life-threatening. It occurs when your heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood due to blocked arteries. Some of the heart-related conditions causing your chest pain include:

  • Heart attack: Blockage of blood flow to your heart or blood clot
  • Angina: Poor blood flow to your heart due to blockages in blood vessels
  • Pericarditis: An inflammation of the sac that surrounds your heart


On arrival to the ER you will be seen by our doctors as soon as possible. You will asked certain questions which are critical for identifying the cause of your chest pain. Any of the following tests may be ordered to evaluate your heart health. 

  • Chest X-ray: To examine your heart, blood vessels and lungs
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): To record your heart’s electrical activity
  • Echocardiogram: To record moving images of the heart
  • Stress test: To measure the function of your heart with exertion
  • Angiogram: To spot blockages in specific arteries
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan): To spot blood clots or blockages
  • Blood tests: To measure levels of the enzyme in your heart muscle


Appropriate emergency care is provided depending on the underlying cause of chest pain. Mercy Emergency Room is open 24/7 and provides timely intervention for causes of chest pain and cardiovascular emergencies. Should you or a loved one experience chest pain do not hesitate to contact us.