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Chest pain introduction
Chest pain is one of the most common complaints that will bring a patient to the emergency department. Seeking immediate care may be lifesaving, and considerable public education has been undertaken to get patients to access medical care when chest pain strikes. While the patient may be worried about a heart attack, there are many other causes of pain in the chest that the health care professional will need to consider. Some diagnoses are life-threatening, while others are less dangerous.
Deciding the cause of chest pain is sometimes very difficult and may require blood tests, X-rays, CT scans and other tests to sort out the diagnosis. Often though, a careful history taken by the health care professional may be all that is needed to find the answer.