Chest Pain

More than five million Americans visit hospital emergency rooms every year for chest pain. Some causes are mild and inconvenient while others are serious and potentially life threatening. 


Washington Health System Emergency Department is equipped with highly trained staff in cardiac care providing thorough assessment, diagnosis and treatment to patients experiencing unexplained chest pain and heart attack symptoms. 


The Emergency Department staff screens for the entire spectrum of coronary heart disease -- heart attack, cardiac ischemia, latent coronary disease and risk factors. Patients who have an urgent cardiac status are triaged to the appropriate cardiac unit. Lower risk patients whose status is unclear are admitted for close observation, while those whose chest pain is a non-cardiac emergency are safely discharged. The goal is to minimize the time it takes to treat a patient experiencing a potential cardiac emergency.


EMS units with the ability to transmit an EKG can send by cellular the results immediately and securely to the Emergency Department. If a patient is suffering from a severe heart attack, a system-wide response will begin at the hospital prior to the patient’s arrival, ensuring the Cardiologist and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is briefed on and prepared for the patient’s emergency. Emergency cardiac treatment will begin instantly when the patient arrives at the hospital.