Friend w/ severe chest pains?

Nurses General Nursing

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I see that alot of people ask your opinion on a medical issue or condition that they or someone they know is experiencing. I would like to know your thoughts about this.

A 25 year old female presents with persistant chest pains. They very from entire chest to certain sides. Sometimes its a dull but very noticeable pain to a sharp stabbing feeling which she describes as someone sticking a knife through her chest and she can feel it through her back.

She went to the doctor and the doctor listed the problem as an " inflammed rib cage." Was given some antibiotics and was sent home. The pain subsided for sometime but now it seems to have come back and it is everyday but not throughout the entire day. Her husband is in the Navy and the Navy docs seem to have just dismiss all that is going on. They feel no need for an EKG. (just makes me think the military is trying to save a few dollars) This young lady fears going to an outside hospital because they do not have the income to pay something like that, even with the insurance they have.

She takes Wellbutrin and is anemic. Her stress level is nothing more than usual either. We did some research and under anemia, chest pain, angina is listed. Could this be the actual cause of this chest pain or does it seem like there might be something else causing this?

I would like to hear your opinion on this. I feel so bad because when the chest pain starts you can see the pain she is in by looking in her eyes. We have tried to get her to go to the ER but she will not budge. I dont know what else I can do. Thanks. Sheri

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

chest pain is nothing to be scoffed at.

if your friend will not go to the er, then there's little you can do.

but i would certainly encourage her to go to the er so they can give her an ecg and draw some labs.

keep trying and good luck.

inflamed rib cage?????

leslie

sherichance

124 Posts

thats what I said....inflammed rib cage?....the doctor gave some big word that I have never heard of before and I did look it up and it was listed...it said that is caused by some type of trauma to the chest...like someone kicked her in her chest which never happened...i will keep trying to get her to go but you really cant make someone do something they dont want to i guess....

RNPATL, DNP, RN

1 Article; 1,146 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Education.
I see that alot of people ask your opinion on a medical issue or condition that they or someone they know is experiencing. I would like to know your thoughts about this.

A 25 year old female presents with persistant chest pains. They very from entire chest to certain sides. Sometimes its a dull but very noticeable pain to a sharp stabbing feeling which she describes as someone sticking a knife through her chest and she can feel it through her back.

She went to the doctor and the doctor listed the problem as an " inflammed rib cage." Was given some antibiotics and was sent home. The pain subsided for sometime but now it seems to have come back and it is everyday but not throughout the entire day. Her husband is in the Navy and the Navy docs seem to have just dismiss all that is going on. They feel no need for an EKG. (just makes me think the military is trying to save a few dollars) This young lady fears going to an outside hospital because they do not have the income to pay something like that, even with the insurance they have.

She takes Wellbutrin and is anemic. Her stress level is nothing more than usual either. We did some research and under anemia, chest pain, angina is listed. Could this be the actual cause of this chest pain or does it seem like there might be something else causing this?

I would like to hear your opinion on this. I feel so bad because when the chest pain starts you can see the pain she is in by looking in her eyes. We have tried to get her to go to the ER but she will not budge. I dont know what else I can do. Thanks. Sheri

My initial and standard answer would be that your friend needs to see another doctor. A healthy 25 year old with chest pain is nothing to sneeze at.

My ex-wife had severe chest pain when she was 26 years old and got the same song and dance from the doctors ... they called it intercostitis ..... PLEASE! They gave her an antibiotic and sent her packing .... she was 3 months post partum at the time with my daughter. She was weak and had no energy for anything. I called her mother to come over and help to care for her and the baby so I could work.

One night (about 2 weeks after we had seen the doctor), I came home from work and there she was on the couch ..... sleeping, but she was so pale - she almost looked like she was dead ... I finally got her in the car, took her to the ED and demanded that a cardiologist see her ...... they did an EKG - and an Echo .... she had a severe case of pericarditis .... they actually tapped her in the ED for over 1000cc!

She still battles with re-occurrences and this was almost 15 years ago. Please have your friend see another doctor! Good Luck.

zenman

2 Articles; 2,806 Posts

If it's Costochondritis it hurts really good and sometimes takes a while to heal but is not serious. It may move around and you might think it's a heart attack. Usually, it's just sharp, stabbing pain, particularly when you breathe...which is normally a lot!

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

sheri,

please take patrick's and my advice about getting another doctor's opinion.

no one should be diagnosing anything online.

much luck to you,

leslie

zacarias, ASN, RN

1,338 Posts

Specializes in tele, stepdown/PCU, med/surg.
If it's Costochondritis it hurts really good and sometimes takes a while to heal but is not serious. It may move around and you might think it's a heart attack. Usually, it's just sharp, stabbing pain, particularly when you breathe...which is normally a lot!

But how do they differentiate between Costochondritis and Acute Coronary Syndromes without an EKG or labs? I mean I guess if it was shooting pain and his palpations could elicit more pain, but what a thing to miss if it was an MI or unstable angina.

VickyRN, MSN, DNP, RN

104 Articles; 5,349 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

You see this a lot and it infuriates me... male doctors NOT taking women's cardiac symptoms seriously. Women often do not present with the same acute coronary symptoms as men (aka, the classic "fist in the chest"). As a result, women often have a tougher time getting their cardiac symptoms diagnosed properly and because of the precious time wasted... often have more disastrous sequelae than men.

Take her back and INSIST that she be taken seriously... this means the standard of care for chest pain... ECG, serial troponin and CK-MB.

mama

8 Posts

male doctors NOT taking women's cardiac symptoms seriously. Women often do not present with the same acute coronary symptoms as men (aka, the classic "fist in the chest"). As a result, women often have a tougher time getting their cardiac symptoms diagnosed properly and because of the precious time wasted... often have more disastrous sequelae than men.

It sounds like very bad for women who seek medical advice from male doctors?? :uhoh3:

sherichance

124 Posts

Thank you all so much. Costochondritis is what I was looking for. The doc gave her Naprosyn and sent her home. She just told me yesterday that sometimes, not very often a few times a week, as she calls it, she says it feels like her heart stopped or jumped out of her chest for a split second. Then she gasps for air and its over.

I dont know but I am going to have to get with her husband and we both are going to probably have to drag her to another doctor. She is too afraid of medical bills pilling up.

Thanks to you all, I appreciate the help because I was completely lost on this one.

amber74

109 Posts

I had the same symptoms at age 23.I had a new baby and was told it was because I held my daughter all the time(pulled muscle).I didnt feel that was a right diagnosis.

Two weeks before ,I had teeth cleaning at my dentist. They finally realized it was pericarditis probally due to the bacteria entering the bloodstream via gums.Now,I pre med with antibiotics before teeth cleaning.

I also had a friend drop dead from a P.E.She was on B.C pills and smoker.

Chest pain is not something to play with.

You know what they say about the squeaky wheel...

good luck

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