Angina is a pain or discomfort in the chest. It often has a squeezing or pressure-like feel. This discomfort can also be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaws or back. Anginal pain usually lasts no more than 2-10 minutes. It is relieved by rest or nitroglycerin. Chest pain is usually a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). It occurs when the blood vessels leading to the heart are blocked. The blockage decreases the blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen you will feel chest pain and other symptoms. Copyright © 2009 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

When it comes to chest pain, time is muscle. Every hour you ignore chest pain and discomfort (even minor pain) the risk of damage to heart muscle increases. Patients who ignore symptoms for more than six hours are significantly more likely to suffer heart damage beyond repair.

Our team approach to care delivery focuses on the patient for a rapid diagnosis and intervention. You are in capable hands when arriving at Centerpoint Medical Center's Emergency Department, where our trained staff are prepared to quickly determine how best to treat your symptoms, whether experiencing a hear attack or other cardiovascular-related conditions. As part of Midwest Heart Care's comprehensive services, the area's first Chest Pain Network has been servicing Kansas City since 2004. Our five chest pain centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Emergency Departments of each Midwest Heart Care location:

These teams are dedicated to helping you survive and recover from a heart attack by closely monitoring factors such as:

  • Door-to-balloon time
  • Communication between emergency physicians and cardiologists
  • Relationship with local emergency medical services providers

Diagnosis & Testing

Your physician at Centerpoint Medical Center will prescribe diagnostic tests right away to see if you are having an episode of angina or a heart attack. If you have a stable pattern of angina, other tests may be done to determine the extent of your disease. The test results will help your cardio team create a treatment plan. Some of the diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac CTA
  • Coronary angiography
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Nuclear scanning
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress test

Procedures & Treatment

Your heart care team at Centerpoint Medical Center has access to a wealth of treatment options for your angina. Treatments for chest pain include:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Blood thinners
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications
  • Coronary artery bypass graft