Preparing for your appointment

If you experience the sudden onset of chest pain or other symptoms of acute coronary syndrome, get emergency care immediately or call 911.

Your description of symptoms provides important information to help an emergency medical team make a diagnosis. Be prepared to answer the following questions.

  • When did signs or symptoms appear?
  • How long did they last?
  • What symptoms are you currently experiencing?
  • How would you describe the pain?
  • Where is the pain located?
  • How would you rate the severity of pain?
  • Does anything worsen or lessen the symptoms?
May 06, 2016
  1. Acute coronary syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version. Accessed Feb. 9, 2016.
  2. Timmis A. Acute coronary syndromes. BMJ. 2015;351:h5153.
  3. Reeder GS, et al. Initial evaluation and management of suspected acute coronary syndrome (myocardial infarction, unstable angina) in the emergency room. Accessed Feb. 9, 2016.
  4. Who is at risk for coronary heart disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed Feb. 11, 2016.
  5. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) test. American Heart Association. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.
  6. Prem S, et al. Noninvasive imaging and stress testing in patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.
  7. Cardiac medications. American Heart Association. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.
  8. Cayla G, et al. Updates and current recommendations for the management of patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: What it means for clinical practice. American Journal of Cardiology. 2015;115:10A.
  9. Cardiac procedures and surgeries. American Heart Association. Accessed Feb. 12, 2016.