How To Talk About and Evaluate Chest Pain in Spanish

How To Talk About and Evaluate Chest Pain in Spanish

Chest pain in Spanish

This Medical Spanish lesson focuses on talking about and evaluating chest pain in Spanish: el dolor de pecho.

Here is the Medical Spanish lesson I taught to the Facebook group:

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Let’s start the lesson learning some anatomy related to chest pain:

Spanish English 
El pecho Chest
Los pechos Breasts
Los senos Breasts
Las costillas Ribs
La clavícula Clavicle
El estómago Stomach
El hígado Liver
La vesícula biliar Gallbladder
 Los pulmones Lungs
Los bronquios Bronchi
 El esternón Sternum
La traquea Trachea

Note: In the past, we talked about the pain in Spanish and the different words to talk about it. So be sure to take a look to this post as well 🙂

Signos y síntomas básicos / Basic Signs and Symptoms

We need to define some basic signs and symptoms from the beginning, that way it will be easier for you to understand the history of the chest problem.

Spanish English
Ansiedad Anxiety
Ardor Burning sensation
Crepitación – sonidos / respiraciones crepitantes Crackling sounds in breathing / crepitus
Debilidad Weakness
Dificultad para respirar Difficulty breathing
Dolor agudo Sharp pain
Dolor ardiente Burning pain
Dolor con movimientos específicos Pain with specific movements
Dolor con/sin presión Pain with / without pressure
Dolor después de comer Pain after eating
Dolor que corre al lado izquierdo (el cuello, el brazo) Pain that runs on the left side (neck, arm)
Edema (hinchazón) Swelling
Falta de aire Shortness of breath
Fiebre Fever
Jadeos Gasping
Mareos Dizziness
Miedo Fear
Nausea Nausea
Palpitaciones Palpitations
Piel húmeda Wet skin
Presión alta, baja High / low blood pressure
Presión en el pecho – pecho apretado Pressure in the chest – tight chest
Silbidos – Sibilancia – Resuello
Tos fuerte con flema Hard cough with phlegm
Tos con sangre Bloody cough
Vómito (con sangre) Vomiting (with blood)

Common Causes of Chest Pain / Causas comunes del dolor de pecho

Now it’s time to review the most common causes of chest pain and their symptoms.

1. Asma / Asthma

Spanish English
Una inflamación y restricción de las vías respiratorias. An inflammation and restriction of the airways.
Resulta en falta de aire, sibilancia, dificultad para respirar, ansiedad. It results in lack of air, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, anxiety.
Es fácil de controlar con un inhalador. It is easy to control with an inhaler.

2. Ataque de corazón (infarto) / Heart Attack

Spanish English
Cuando hay una restricción o un bloqueo del flujo de sangre a los músculos del corazón y no recibe suficiente sangre oxigenada. When there is a restriction or blockage of blood flow to the heart muscles and it does not receive enough oxygenated blood.
Es una emergencia. It’s an emergency.
Los síntomas incluyen: nausea, vómito, falta de aire, debilidad, presión en el pecho, sudores, dolor que corre al lado izquierdo. Symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, weakness, pressure in the chest, sweating, pain that shoots to the left side.

3. Ataque de pánico / Panic Attack

Spanish English
Es un miedo intenso y repentino en que siente que está sufriendo un ataque al corazón, que se vuelve loco y/o que va a morir. It is an intense and sudden fear that you are suffering from a heart attack, that you maybe going crazy and / or that you are going to die.
Uno siente palpitaciones, falta de aire, ansiedad, temblores, mareo, respiraciones rápidas. You feel palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiety, shakiness, dizziness, fast breathing.

4. Acedía (reflujos, ácidos, agruras) / Acid (reflux, heartburn)

Spanish English
Cuando ácidos estomacales suben del estómago hacia arriba en la garganta. When stomach acids rise from the stomach up into the throat.
Resulta en ardor y dolor, cólicos y se siente hinchado It results in burning and pain, stomach cramping and you feel bloated

5. Bronquitis / bronchitis

Spanish English
Es una infección en las vías respiratorias. It is an infection in the airways.
Se inflaman y restringen el flujo de aire. They inflame and restrict airflow.
Puede ser causado por virus o bacteria. It could be caused by viruses or bacteria.
Resulta en dificultad para respirar, tos con flema, jadeo y presión en el pecho It results in difficulty breathing, productive cough, gasping and chest pressure

6. Coágulo en el pulmón (embolia) / Clot in the lung (embolism)

Spanish English
Cuando un coágulo en la sangre se le sube al pulmón y obstruye el flujo de sangre o bloquea una arteria que alimenta al pulmón. When a blood cot goes up to the lung and obstructs the blood flow or blocks an artery that’s feeding the lung
Resulta en dificultad para respirar, falta de aire, mareos y ritmo cardíaco irregular. It results in difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, dizziness and irregular heartbeat.

7. Fractura de costilla / Rib Fracture

Spanish English
Las costillas son huesos delgados. The ribs are thin bones.
Después de un trauma al pecho o al costado es posible fracturar una costilla. After a chest or trauma to your side it is possible to fracture a rib.
Resulta en dolor de pecho, dolor al respirar y dolor al palpar el área afectado. It results in chest pain, pain when breathing and pain when you touch the affected area

8. Neumotórax / Pneumothorax

Spanish English
Es cuando hay un agujero o perforación u otro tipo de lesión al pulmón que resulta en un colapso pulmonar. It is when there is a hole or perforation or other type of injury to the lung that results in a lung collapse.
Resulta en dolor de pecho, dificultad para respirar. It results in chest pain, difficulty breathing.

9. Neumonía – Pulmonía / Pneumonia

Spanish English
Neumonía es una infección en los pulmones causada por bacteria, virus o hongos. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi.
Resulta en fiebre alta, escalofríos, tos con flema y dolor al respirar. It results in high fever, chills, productive cough and pain when breathing.

Download Chest Pain in Spanish Notes TODAY

Historia del problema / History of the Problem

We talked about how to take the medical history  in the past, but let’s do a quick review to these concepts and some useful questions you can ask to your Latino patients:

  • ¿Cuándo comenzó el dolor?: When did the pain start?
  • ¿Cuándo está peor? ¿Mejor?: When is it worst? When is it better?
  • How did it start?: ¿Cómo empezó?
    • Suddenly?: ¿De repente?
    • Little by little?: ¿Poco a poco?
  • ¿Qué hacía cuando empezó?: What did you do when it started?
  • ¿Ha tenido este dolor antes?: Have you had this pain before?
  • ¿Le duele cuando… Do you have pain when you…
    • camina?: walk?
    • hace ejercicio?: do exercise?
    • se esfuerza?: strain?
    • se acuesta?: lie down?
    • descansa?: are resting?
    • respira?: are breathing?

Remember, here is a full post about how to use OLDCARTS in Spanish ?

Exámenes y procedimientos / Tests and Procedures

Here is a short list of tests and procedures you could recommend to your Latino patient to make a better diagnose for the chest pain:

Spanish English
Para diagnosticar: To diagnose:
Análisis de sangre y laboratorios Blood tests and labs
Electrocardiograma (ECG) Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Endoscopia: un tubo con cámara para ver la garganta y el estómago Endoscopy: a tube with a camera to see the throat and stomach
Examen físico, signos vitales, y examen de estrés Physical exam, vital signs, and stress test
Nitroglicerina para ver si se alivia Nitroglycerin to see if it any of the symptoms are relieved
Rayos equis, Radiografía del pecho X rays, chest X-ray
Tomografía computada (TAC) Computed tomography (CT scan)
Ultrasonido: Sonografía para ver los órganos, los vasos sanguíneos y otros tejidos Ultrasound: Sonography to see organs, blood vessels and other tissues

PD: Two Updates for you! / ¡Dos noticias!

1. Immersion Programs: this is the best way for you to gain comfort, confidence, and fluidity in your expression in Spanish. If interested, check our Medical Immersion Programs.

Now is your turn! ¡Ahora te toca a ti!

Study these chest pain in Spanish vocabulary with the flashcards below:

Download the lesson notes and start creating your own questions and phrases using this new vocabulary in Spanish and share it on the comments below or in our Facebook group to receive feedback from other Medical Spanish learners ?

I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes– Get your copy for free today!

Download Chest Pain in Spanish Notes TODAY

Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you learn medical Spanish!

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