Case Study: Chest Pain

Case Study 1

Patient is a 49 year old Male presenting with 5/10 crushing substernal chest pain radiating to his left arm accompanied by shortness of breath.

Possible Diagnosis: Chest pain of a cardiac nature.

Definition: Chest pain attributed to heart disease occurring when there is an interruption of blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart muscle.

Cause: Heart disease is a process that develops over decades where the coronary arterial walls become thick and clogged with fatty deposits and loses elasticity this narrowing of the arteries can prevent a normal amount of oxygen rich blood from reaching the heart muscle and this fatty plaque can rupture and cause partial or a complete blockage of the artery. Risk factors are hypertension, smoking, high blood lipids, lack of exercise, obesity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, male, advanced age, family history and diabetes mellitus.

Signs and Symptoms: Chest pain of a cardiac nature can be describing the substernal pain as heaviness, crushing, tight, burning, painful discomfort. Radiation of the pain to neck, jaw, abdomen or arm, (left arm more common) sweating, nausea, vomiting, pallor, palpitations, the pain coming upon exertion or sudden onset at rest, dizziness, shortness of breath and a “sense of impending doom.”

Signs and Symptoms of the case study patient are describing the pain as crushing at the substernal chest area, radiation of the pain to left arm, pale, cool, clammy, sudden onset of pain at rest and shortness of breath.

Other causes of chest pain:
Cardiovascular- Myocardial Infarct (death of the heart muscle due to blockage of the blood supply to the heart), Angina Pectoris (reduced blood flow to the heart due to coronary artery disease typically have chest pain on exertion and relieved by rest) , Aortic Aneurysm (major blood vessel rupture)
Respiratory- Severe pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs most often caused by infection), Pleurisy (Inflammation of the pleura membrane...