DailyKOS has a story "None Dare Call it Murder" that is compelling reading.
Every year something like 8 million people go to the ER believing they are having a heart attack, 5 million are diagnosed and treated for this condition.
The other 3 million are sent home and told not to worry, and then 40,000 of those people die of a heart attack.
If, like me, you are at risk for a heart attack (overweight, smoker, esp smoker and drinker, sedentary life style, hypertensive or other factors - check with your Doc ok?) then you might want to write these things down and put them in your wallet, or better yet, memorize them and teach them to your loved ones.
Recommended Emergency Room practice ( Joint European Society of Cardiology/American College of Cardiology Committee ) for people who come to the Emergency Room complaining of chest pain is to -
- Run a 12 lead EKG at admission and at least once again before discharge
- Take a Chest X Ray, and examine it for fluid in the lungs and determine if the heart is enlarged or shows any other evidence of damage.
- Draw blood at several intervals and test this for three enzymes that are known to be released into the blood stream, when part of the heart muscle has died due to a lack of oxygen.
If your treatment varies from this, and you're to be released, stop and ask why. Better yet, take a minute to read the link above and you'll know why I'm taking the time to tell you to ask why!
(Oh and of my risk factors, I'm down to one, maybe two. I quit smoking about 30 years ago, and I'm working hard to get out of the sedentary category, I'm not going to give up drinking, but I'm pretty moderate in my use of alcohol. I'm watching my BP, which has been low to good most of my life. But I'll admit, it's time to see my Dr for a checkup, soon as my insurance paperwork comes in, I promise!)