Chest pain

Sonja Maria, Peter Micalos, Lauren Ahearn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chest pain is a frequently encountered medical condition that paramedics are called to in the out of hospital environment (Pittet, Burnand, Yersin, & Carron, 2014). It is both a common and threatening problem because in many instances the cause is potentially serious, especially if the chest pain occurred with a sudden onset (Bonaca & Sabatine, 2019, p.2601). Chest pain has been defined as pain in the thorax, and can be classified by its cause, for example cardiac or non-cardiac origin. It can also be classified by the type of pain, for example localised or poorly localised, or pleuritic versus non-pleuritic (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2017). As heart disease is the leading cause of death in Western nations it is important that clinicians identify and manage chest pain accurately according to the risk to the patient (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2018). In discussing chest pain in the paramedic context, identifying risk is an important factor in determining the best pathway for patients (Best, 2017). This article covers the main causes of chest pain, the signs and symptoms, tools of diagnosis, and assessment. We will also cover further beneficial patient management strategies that can be incorporated into the clinicians practice. This article references links to the clinical examination series (Kirk, 2020).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Paramedic Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


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