Warning Signs You Need to Get a Chest XRAY, EKG, or CT
Did you know your heart beats 115,200 times a day on average? That means every year; your heart beats more than 42 million times. That’s a lot of work!
The heart is a complex system of valves, ventricles, arteries, and veins responsible for pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood around the body and eliminating cellular waste.
As such, there is a lot that can go wrong. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with one person dying every 36 seconds.
Preventing cardiovascular disease is possible; however, you might not know you are in danger because not all heart conditions cause symptoms. These situations can lead to emergencies where you require immediate medical attention.
Warning Signs of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Cardiac Arrest
Cardiovascular episodes such as heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest are life and death emergencies, where every second counts.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else, please call 911 immediately. It’s important to know that all these signs don’t need to occur. If you notice one or more, get help fast!
There are several medications and procedures that can help stop a heart attack or stroke in progress when administered shortly after the first symptoms. These life-saving drugs can significantly reduce long-term disabilities and increase the chances of survival. Again, if you notice any of these symptoms, don’t delay. Get help right away!
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
- Discomfort, pressure, or pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or comes and goes
- Discomfort or unexplained pain in other areas of your upper body
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Cold sweat
Warning Signs of a Stroke
- Drooping on one side of your face
- Sudden numbness or weakness in one arm, leg, or face
- Trouble talking, slurred speech, unable to speak
- Sudden confusion, difficulty walking, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
- Sudden severe headache
Warning Signs of Cardiac Arrest
- Loss of consciousness
- No normal breathing
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Here are some ways our doctors can scope out your heart and get you the right treatment fast!
An X-Ray is a standard medical scan that takes pictures of your organs and other structures inside your chest. The test is safe, quick, and painless, and it allows our doctors to see if you have an enlarged heart or fluid buildup around your heart and lungs.
Please make sure to let our doctors if you have a pacemaker, a metal implant, or if you are pregnant or could be pregnant before getting an x-ray.
An EKG (short for electrocardiogram) is a common and painless test used to record the heart’s electrical signals.
Irregular heart rhythms, heart attacks, and the presence of thickened heart muscles will show up as changes on the EKG. This test allows our physicians to detect any heart problems quickly and to monitor your heart’s health.
A Computed Tomography scan (CT Scan) is a sophisticated imaging method that uses information from multiple X-rays to create detailed 3D pictures of your heart and blood vessels.
There are several applications of this diagnostic test:
Coronary Calcium Scan: Serves to determine if there is a calcium buildup in your heart arteries
CT Angiography: The test allows our doctors to evaluate if there is a narrowing or a blockage in the heart arteries
Doctors may recommend a CT angiography if you have any of the following:
- Unexplained chest pain
- Unusually high blood pressure
- Symptoms that suggest you may have a tear in a major artery
Sometimes the CT scan will also include the aorta or pulmonary arteries to determine if there are any problems with those structures causing your symptoms.
At Altus Emergency Centers, we have the most advanced cardiovascular diagnostic technology that allows us to determine if you are suffering from a life-threatening condition quickly. Additionally, all our locations also have on-site clinical laboratories that provide valuable information for our doctors to diagnose and treat your condition.