When you go to ER with chest pain, you want to make sure you do not have a heart attack. However, the ER doctor knows better. He knows about these other 2 conditions that can be deadlier than a heart attack. It is his job to make sure you do not have these 2 conditions.
Unfortunately, most emergency rooms are packed with patients complaining of chest pain. Busy ER docs mostly focus on heart attacks because heart attacks are more common.They may not think about the other two conditions in your case.
Learn about these two conditions. When they tell you you don’t have a heart attack, simply ask if you may have any of these conditions. That may save your life.
1. Aortic dissection:
It is caused by a tear of the major blood vessel carrying blood out of the heart. Aorta is the main supply line of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. When the wall of this blood vessel gets partially ruptured, blood can get in between the wall layers and clog up the main supply line. Aortic dissection is far deadlier than a heart attack. Every hour lost increases the mortality by almost 10%. If they are unable to make the diagnosis by 5 hours after the chest pain, you have already lost about 50% chance of survival.
2. Acute Pulmonary embolism:
Pulmonary embolism or PE is when you have a blood clot occluding a major brach of blood vessel inside your lungs. The severity of PE depends on the location of the blood clot and it’s effect on the heart and lungs. If the clot is occluding a major branch of the artery supplying blood to the lungs, it can be fatal. Lungs get blood from the right side of the heart. When the main branch of the artery going to the lungs from the right side of the heart gets occluded, the blood has no way to go forward. It then flows backwards and puts tremendous amount of pressure on the right side of the heart. That can cause immediate death as a result of a collapse of blood circulation. Immediate diagnosis and treatment may have save life in some cases. Fortunately, not all cases of PE carry this level of danger. However, immediate diagnosis and treatment is still required to prevent complications in all patients with PE.