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Heart & Vascular Services

Chest Pain Center at MUSC Health

MUSC Health's chest pain hospital treats and provides evaluations and diagnosis for patients who are experiencing chest pain symptoms.

As a nationally accredited Chest Pain Center, patients are fast-tracked upon arrival for immediate care, offering the best chances for survival. With world-class cardiovascular specialists and the most advanced technology among South Carolina heart centers, the MUSC Chest Pain Center puts time – and unmatched expertise – on your side.

The designation of accredited Chest Pain Center also reflects MUSC Health’s efforts in educating the community about cardiovascular disease and the importance of early medical treatment for heart attack symptoms. MUSC Health has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

Diagnosing Chest Pain and Heart Attacks

If you or a loved one are having chest pain or experiencing heart attack symptoms, dial 9-1-1.

Upon arrival at MUSC Health's Chest Pain Center, each chest pain patient is met at the door by a highly qualified clinician who provides an immediate evaluation. A physician examines the patient and orders some quick tests – including an electrocardiogram and a blood test – to confirm whether a heart attack is underway.

If a heart attack is diagnosed, the patient is taken to the cardiac catheterization laboratory for an angiogram. Then the problem is immediately treated by our chest pain hospital staff.

When chest pain evaluation does not indicate a heart attack, our advanced training and cutting-edge technology, such as the dual-source CT scanner, allow us to quickly diagnose chest pain and other serious conditions that many other facilities are unable to identify.

Signs of a Heart Attack

At least half of patients who suffer heart attacks have had warning signs in the previous two weeks. Do you know what to look for? If you or a loved one are having chest pain or experiencing heart attack symptoms, dial 9-1-1.

The following are the most common symptoms of a heart attack. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
  • pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
  • chest pain that increases in intensity
  • chest pain that is not relieved by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
  • chest pain that occurs with any/all of the following (additional) symptoms:
    • sweating, cool, clammy skin, and/or paleness
    • shortness of breath
    • nausea or vomiting
    • dizziness or fainting
    • unexplained weakness or fatigue
    • rapid or irregular pulse