Chest pain in children!

Strangely, I saw 3 patients with chest pain in my clinic. They were between 10-15 years of age. Parents were obviously worried that could it be related to the heart!

Fortunately, heart is rarely a problem in children, as opposed to adults unless there is a congenital (from birth) heart defect. Children have not damaged their heart by smoking, drinking, fatty food or Stress. Their hearts are ‘pure’. A normal ECG is usually enough to rule out heart to be the source of pain in children.

Chest pain due to heart is on the left side, usually after exertion and radiates (moves) usually towards your left arm. It’s a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If it’s due to Myocardial Ischaemia (Commonly known as Heart Attack), ambulance should be called ASAP.

The more common causes in children are Musculoskeletal (as they do lot of sports in school), Injury (very often forgotten), Gastritis (fried food, fizzy drinks, cheese, chocolate), chest infection (usually with fever), sometimes stress (social media!)

All 3 of my cases today were likely Gastritis (had pain on pressing the upper part of stomach) and described typical h/o pain, mainly after eating. They also had a feeling of nausea and bloating sensation. I treated them with a common Antacid drug, called Omeprazole, a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor) for 2 weeks. Hope they get better quickly.