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Chest Pain

Resources to Review Prior to Conference


Goals and Objectives

  • Trainee will demonstrate competence in the initial evaluation and basic management of patients with chest pain


Trainee will be able to:

  • List and describe six life-threatening causes of chest pain:

    • Acute coronary syndromes

    • Aortic dissection

    • Cardiac tamponade

    • Esophageal perforation

    • Pneumothorax (tension)

    • Pulmonary embolism

  • Describe the typical presentation and alarm symptoms for life-threatening causes of chest pain

  • List and describe the rationale for initial diagnostic tests for life-threatening causes of chest pain, which may include:

    • Evaluation of vital signs

    • Auscultation

    • ECG

    • Chest X-ray

    • Ultrasound

    • CT scan

  • List and describe the indications for potential initial therapeutic interventions for patients with chest pain, which may include:

    • Aspirin

    • Anticoagulation

    • Thrombolysis

    • Cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)

    • Emergent blood pressure management

    • Needle decompression / Thoracostomy

    • Pericardiocentesis


Additional Resources

Acute Coronary Syndromes


Aortic Dissection


Esophageal Perforation



Pulmonary Embolism

Tamponade, Cardiac

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