Medical Surgical GERD #4

Question

A client is admitted to the emergency department from the clinic to determine if the client was having a myocardial infarction. Which symptom is similar for both myocardial infarction (heart attack) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Answers

  1. ST elevation
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because ST elevation will not occur with GERD. This is indicative of a myocardial infarction (MI) and should be treated immediately.

  2. Chest pain
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because chest pain is a common symptom in both myocardial infarction (MI) and GERD. Symptoms of GERD include chest pain, dry cough, belching, burning sensation in the chest or heartburn, and discomfort of the upper abdominal region. Severe GERD with chest pain can mimic a heart attack to the client and cause them to seek medical treatment. Diagnostic tests and blood work can help eliminate the concern of a heart attack. A myocardial infarction should be ruled out if the healthcare provider is unsure or suspects an MI.

  3. Diaphoresis
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because diaphoresis is not usually associated with GERD unless the client is anxious or having low blood glucose issues. Symptoms of GERD include chest pain, dry cough, belching, burning sensation in the chest or heartburn, and discomfort of the upper abdominal region. Severe GERD with chest pain can mimic a heart attack to the client and cause them to seek medical treatment.

  4. Elevated troponin
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because an elevated troponin is not associated with GERD, but myocardial infarction. This should be reported to the healthcare provider and MI protocol followed immediately.

Overview

Chest pain is a common symptom in both myocardial infarction (MI) and GERD. A myocardial infarction should be ruled out if the healthcare provider is unsure or suspects an MI.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that occurs when a person has reflux of gastric acid. The persistent regurgitation of and exposure to stomach acid can damage esophageal tissue to the extent it causes Barrett’s esophagus. Cellular changes can occur that can lead to esophageal cancer. Various things contribute to GERD symptoms, including physiological, lifestyle, dietary factors, and medications. Symptoms of GERD include chest pain, dry cough, belching, burning sensation in the chest or heartburn, and discomfort of the upper abdominal region. Severe GERD with chest pain can mimic a heart attack to the client and cause them to seek medical treatment. Diagnostic tests and blood work can help eliminate the concern of a heart attack.

Test Taking Tip

Be sure to know the similarities and differences between GERD and a myocardial infarction (MI).

Video Rationale