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Chest & Abdominal Pain

Get 24/7 Emergency Medical Care for Potentially Life-Threatening Symptoms

The onset of chest or abdominal pain is often 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 will need tests to diagnose the problem. 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.

Do chest pains mean I’m having a heart attack?

Whether your sudden chest pain is short but intensely painful or more of a lengthy, dull ache, it can be a telltale sign of a heart attack. However, there are many other possible causes of chest pain. Only 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. If you have risk factors for heart disease, it’s especially important to be aware you could have a heart attack, such as being a smoker, being overweight, having diabetes, or having high blood pressure.

Chest Pain Causes and Treatments

Chest pain can be treated non-invasively with medication therapy, but it may require surgical treatment, too, if it is heart-related. One common heart-related surgical procedure includes cardiac catheterization to open blocked arteries, but coronary bypass surgery to repair the arteries is also common. 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 attack: Sudden, excruciating psychological distress.

What should I do if I have abdominal pain?

If you’re experiencing abdominal pain, you may wonder whether it’s worth going to the local ER. 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 your abdominal pain is accompanied with one or more of the following, 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.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care offers convenient urgent care hours, every day from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Maumee, Ohio.