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- Obtain an ECG
- Assess oxygen saturation
- Auscultate the lungs
- Assess for recent IV drug use
- Ask the patient to cough
The main concerns for anyone with pain in the chest area is a heart issue (myocardial infarction) or lung issue (Pulmonary Embolism). The first thing to do is to get an ECG, followed by checking the oxygen saturation. Listening to lung sounds is important and you will do this eventually, but lungs sounds at this time will not give you emergent life-saving information. Asking the patient about drug use and to cough can be helpful but it is not going to diagnose any life threatnening issues, and therefore is not the priority.
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