Chest pain is a commonly encountered emergency department complaint, with a broad differential including several life-threatening possible conditions. Ultrasound-assisted evaluation can potentially be used to rapidly and accurately arrive at the correct diagnosis. We propose an organized, ultrasound assisted evaluation of the patient with chest pain using a combination of ultrasound, echocardiography and clinical parameters. Basic echo techniques which can be mastered by residents in a short time are used plus standardized clinical questions and examination. Information is kept on a checklist. We hypothesize that this will result in a quicker, more accurate evaluation of chest pain in the ED leading to timely treatment and disposition of the patient, less provider anxiety, a reduction in the number of diagnostic errors, and the removal of false assumptions from the diagnostic process.
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