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Having chest pains? Don't ignore it

6 August 2022 6:20 PM
Tags:
Health
Emergency
Wellness
chest pain

A sharp, stabbing pain in the chest is not something to ignore. But when should you really be worried? Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, the general manager for emergency medicine at Life Healthcare, told Zain Johnson about some of the scenarios one could possibly face.
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Every now and then, some of us will feel a chest pain and the first thing that comes to mind is a heart attack.

Chest pains are one of the most common reasons that people visit hospital emergency units.

A sharp, stabbing pain in the chest is not something to ignore. But when should you really be worried? Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, the general manager for emergency medicine at Life Healthcare, told Zain Johnson about some of the scenarios one could possibly face.

I like to call chest pain 'a great masquerader'. This is because pain from the chest area can be symptomatic of many different issues.

Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, Emergency medicine general manager at Life Healthcare

Different organ systems can cause pain in the chest. And it doesn't necessarily mean it's heart related pain. The deeper we go into the body, the less obvious the red flag.

Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, Emergency medicine general manager at Life Healthcare

To treat chest discomfort, doctors would need to understand what brought the pain on, and how the pain behaves.

Does that pain get worse when you breathe? If you take a deep breathe in and out, does it get worse as the chest opens up? Then we're probably leaning to a muscular or respiratory cause of the pain.

Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, Emergency medicine general manager at Life Healthcare

If the pain occurs after a meal, then it could be gastrointestinal pain or a peptic ulcer pain. The stomach itself can easily cause chest pains.

Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, Emergency medicine general manager at Life Healthcare

Chest pain can also emanate from a recent infection like COVID-19 and influenza, which causes inflammation to the muscles in the chest.

If the pain is related to physical activity, and if that pain moves around the body, then cardiac-related disease is generally excluded as the cause.

If the chest pain is not diet or respiratory related, let your doctor check it out. We can evaluate this easily in the emergency unit with an ECG or a blood test to see if the heart is releasing any substances that can give us a clue to damage. If you're at all concerned, just shoot to your emergency unit.

Dr. Charl van Loggerenberg, Emergency medicine general manager at Life Healthcare

For more health advice, scroll up to listen.




6 August 2022 6:20 PM
Tags:
Health
Emergency
Wellness
chest pain

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