Chest pain and heart attack care

When it comes to heart attacks, you need to get the right treatment fast. Not every emergency room can offer you the same state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and on-site surgical options that are available at the OHSU Chest Pain Center. 

Learn more about the OHSU Chest Pain Center

Chest Pain Center

Recognizing a heart attack

Many people believe that heart attacks are sudden and powerful, like those you see on TV. The truth is that recognizing a heart attack isn’t that easy. Most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Symptoms might come and go or vary in intensity. You may even feel like you are coming down with the flu, have indigestion or a pulled muscle. Women tend to have symptoms other than chest pain, such as nausea, vomiting, back or jaw pain.

Common heart attack symptoms

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. This can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.  
  • Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort or before you experience chest discomfort. 
  • Other symptoms. Some people might break out in a cold sweat or experience nausea or light-headedness.