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Chest Pain Center

We're there when you need us most.

Every 33 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease. That's why we established the Chest Pain Center within our Emergency Services Department. We ensure that patients receive fast, accurate and state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment as soon as they arrive at our doors.

Symptoms of a heart attack can vary significantly from person to person. If you notice any of the symptoms below, call 911. Getting treatment fast can mean the difference between life and death.

Heart attack symptoms

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest. The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The feeling can be mild or severe.
  • Upper body discomfort. You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach (above the belly button).
  • Shortness of breath. This may be your only symptom, or it may occur before or along with chest pain or discomfort. It can occur when you are resting or doing a little bit of physical activity.
  • Fatigue. Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days.

Pay attention to these other possible symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting
  • Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
  • Any sudden, new symptoms or a change in the pattern of symptoms you already have (for example, if your symptoms become stronger or last longer than usual)


Fully accredited Chest Pain Center (accredited by the Society for Chest Pain Centers)

  • Collaborative effort involving a multidisciplinary team of board-certified and nationally recognized interventional cardiologists, emergency physicians, a rapid response nurse team, cardiovascular technologists and EMS personnel.
  • We treat an average of 3,400 chest pain-related cases annually.
  • We perform an average of 185 urgent cardiac interventions annually.
  • We have a better-than-average door-to-balloon time (a measurement of the time between when a heart attack patient comes through the door of the emergency room and receives treatment).
  • Cardiac catheterization lab equipped with Philips' digital flat-plane cardiac-vascular X-ray system.

The Process

Quick cardiac care is lifesaving. From the moment a 911 call is made, an intricate system of steps is in place for patients with chest pain to receive the care they need:

  • The 911 call is received.
  • Chesapeake Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department (ED) is alerted.
  • Emergency Medical Service crews arrive, check vitals and attach a first responder electrocardiogram (EKG).
  • An abnormal EKG sets off an alarm in the ED.
  • The Cardiac Cath team prepares for the patient's arrival.
  • The patient arrives in the ED and is assessed in the Chest Pain Center.
  • If necessary, the Cardiac Cath team takes the patient to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
  • The patient undergoes an angiography.
  • Cardiologists work to stent the patient's artery.
  • The patient is transferred to the Intensive Care Unit after a successful procedure.

The need for speed

Through a new partnership with our ambulance services, EMS teams are able to perform EKGs in the field and send the information within seconds to our emergency department. This allows the cardiac team to be in place as soon as the patient arrives at the ER.

Patient Testimonial

Though he doesn't remember it now, Bradley White called 911 as soon as his chest pains started. At 10:15 a.m., the 911 operator received his call, and an emergency medical service crew was dispatched. That's when the operator heard the Chesapeake man collapse.

White had arrived at Chesapeake Regional's Emergency Department, was transported to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, diagnosed with "acute coronary syndrome," and a stent was being placed in his heart. Within hours, he was recovering comfortably in a hospital bed.

That speed saved his life. It was made possible largely because Chesapeake Regional had implemented a carefully orchestrated system of checks and balances as part of its accredited Chest Pain Center. That process takes patients from the 911 call or walk-in at the ER to treatment.

Chest Pain Center