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When to Visit the ER for Chest Pain

"Should I Visit the ER for Chest Pain?"

Chest pain is any pain—dull, sharp, burning, aching or crushing—experienced from the neck to the abdomen. Chest pain may indicate a serious problem, such as a heart attack or blood clot. Chest pain also may indicate a problem with your lungs, esophagus, muscles, ribs or digestive system. Some of these conditions are life threatening, and others are not. The only way to know is to seek medical attention.

In short, if you are experiencing chest pain, you should not panic, but you should call 911 or visit the nearest ER.

Visit the ER if: 

  • You experience chest pain and:
    • Nausea or dizziness
    • Excessive sweating or ashen color
    • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath—especially after a long period of inactivity
    • Pain spreading to the jaw, left arm or back
    • Sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness or crushing under the breastbone
    • Very rapid heartbeat and/or breathing
    • Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
    • Confusion/disorientation

Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, located on 20th and High Street in Denver, may be able to help you with your chest pain. We strive to beat the national average wait time, so you can get quick access to high-quality emergency medical care. Learn more about our ER>>