Jul, 14
Dr. Nicolas Madsen

About the Author Dr. Nicolas Madsen

Nicolas Madsen, MD, is a cardiologist at Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute, with special interest in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. He is focused on research and community outreach programs to find better ways to screen and educate children and adolescents regarding their risks for heart disease or sudden cardiac arrest.


  1. Thanks so much doctor…I really appreciate it!

    Mike - April 8, 2015 at 8:50 am Reply
    1. Hi, My name is Craig,I’m 14 years old and I have being getting pains in my chests a couple of months now it used to be just a little one the odd time and it would only last a couple of seconds but lately the last month or so its bin getting worse and the pains are all over on the left and right side of my stomach,2 weeks ago I woke up at 3:00 am and whenever I tried to breathe a little it gave me a very sharp pain and hurt badly so I tried breathing a very little bit at a time then it eventually went away,it lasted up to about about 5 minutes? Today I was in P.E and I had this running test that I ran a a lot but nothing was hurting me then when I stopped I got a drink then went outside to play a game or Baseball in the field and when I was running both sides of my chest were hurting but when I breathe it wasn’t hurting,sorry I wrote so much just wanted to tell you the things that’s happen’d to me lately…?

      Craig - May 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm Reply
    2. My 14 yr old complains her heart hurts almost every day. I took her to the pediatrician and she discovered a heart murmur and sent us to a pediatric cardiologist who said she has a functioning heart murmur and it shouldn’t cause any problems. She is still having chest pains usually after eating but not always I have given her alka-seltzer chews and it will go away. some times large crowds will cause her heart to hurt but she also will have labored breathing. if I take her BP it is in normal range as well as pulse. Should I take her to a stomach Dr or back to the heart Dr? I also have her keep a food journal and rate her pain

      Pam Stine - May 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm Reply
  2. Hi,
    My 14 year old son was ready to get on the school bus this morning when he complained of overwhelming tiredness (which he feels before a seizure…he has epilepsy). He also stated he had pain and pressure under his sternum, dizziness, headache and numbness over his entire body. He has been ill since August with strep, has bbeen hospitalized at CNMC in D.C. , has Sydengams Chorea, autism, and other health problems. Yesterday his eyelids were swollen. He did not seize but. Is still in bed with the same complaints. Should I wait this out or have him evaluated. He did have diarrhea once this morning.

    Lori - April 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm Reply
  3. This is a continuation of my post above. My son’s BP’s are 98/58 in his LA and 96/56 in his LA. His HR is 56. He said the things that bother him the most is the h/a at the top of his head, the “cold-numbness” all over his body and the overwhelming tired feeling. His face and lips were pale but pinkened up when he started to talk. I asked again about the chest pain and told him to point to the pain. He actually pointed to his stomach. The area of pressure is under is sternum. His temperature is normal. I see no rashes. I asked him if he wants to see the doctor and he said not yet. We only have one car which my husband drove to work. I would appreciate your advice. Thanks, Lori

    Lori - April 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm Reply
  4. Hi there

    My 12 year old daughter has had chest pains for over four weeks now, they are very random and only a few a day at the most. They seem to be to the left of her sternum (almost beside her sternum) just a shooting pain. Not debilitating, but it is now concerning her.
    They last no time at all and then she is fine but she does mention tightness on taking a breath in after.

    Does this sound worrying? She had a cold but we visited the Dr who said her chest is clear, she did however give her antibiotics to help clear any infection as the cold had been dragging on for literally 6 weeks!

    Sue - April 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm Reply
  5. My 7 year old daughter is very active and fine but a few months ago she started with cramps and pain under her ribs and btween them in the chest area. She gets it when we walk to school or back home about twice a week today was the first time she had it for longer and when we walked home she cried so much I had to give her half a panado she’s sleeping now. She doesn’t get it when she runs or plays netball.

    nadia - April 15, 2015 at 9:15 am Reply
  6. Thank u doc I took her to the doctor today as she was crying a lot yesterday walking from school and last night about nauseousness he says it looks like dyspepsia and recomends me trying buscopan says if it doesn’t improve to take her back

    nadia - April 16, 2015 at 9:38 am Reply
  7. Hello,
    My 14 year old year girl has been having chest pain for several months now. It’s a daily pain with it hurting various times during the day. It hurts in various places in her chest. We have visited the doctor who took x-rays and said nothing was wrong. We waited and when she kept complaining we took her to the doctor again and she said it was normal for her age. But the pain doesn’t affect her if she moves or touches her chest. She says that sometimes the pain is more in the middle in the inside, if that makes any sense, and lasts a couple of seconds. She says the pain is sometimes moderate, and sometimes a bit more stronger. She is healthy doesn’t eat junk food, and is a moderate active person. She also hasn’t been sick or anything. Should I be worried?

    Jackie - April 16, 2015 at 9:28 pm Reply
  8. Hi my 8 year old daughter started complaining that her heart was hurting about 4 days ago and it’s still going on now she’s also been complaining of head aches and feeling sick and just dose my seem her self should I b worried

    Melanie - April 19, 2015 at 4:48 am Reply
  9. Hi my 14 year old daughter complains of chest pains she says she has them at least one to three times a day and they last for up to two to three minutes she explains them to be a very hard stabbing pain which makes it hard for her to breath until they are over afterwards she feels slightly light headed should I be worried about this

    Klaudua - April 19, 2015 at 5:32 am Reply
  10. Hello, my 10 yr. old son was born with a murmur. For about a year now my son complains that his “heart” hurts. I took him to his Pediatrician’s Office who told me it is very common for kids his age to suffer from Heartburn. However, a lot of the times the pain will come when he hasn’t eaten anything at all. Last night he went to bed w/tremendous pain in his heart (As he describes it) and what concerned me is that he awoke with the same pain if not worse. He was pale as a ghost and hot. He got extremely sweaty and started to throw up. He says his pain feels as if someone punched him in the heart. I don’t know if this concerning or not but he’s in so much pain he is crying from it. Please help me put my mind at ease whether it means to investigate further or not.. thank you.

    Omy - April 19, 2015 at 6:28 pm Reply
  11. Dr.,
    My 8 year old lil boy came home today and said his chest started hurting. His exact description was “it was beating so loud then started to hurt”. He was sitting at the reading table when this occurred. So what exact category does this fall into and what would be the best course of action?

    Concerned Mother,

    Heather - April 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm Reply
  12. Hi, I’m 12 years old and very randomly when I stretch, my chest will get a moderate pain that lasts for a few seconds. This just started today and I don’t know if I should be worried. It happens like 3-4 times a day at most. I think it might be growing pains but I’m not sure and I read that if you have stress this happens and I’m a little stressed about school tests. Should I be worried because I’m getting scared because my cousins friends dad had a pain in his chest and he was having a heart attack and then he died…I’m scared, should I be??

    Elaina - April 22, 2015 at 11:37 pm Reply
  13. My daughter is 12. She’s been having left side chest pain for two months. A few days ago she felt faint while on a field trip. The school called and I had them take her to the er. While there they discovered that her blood sugar was low. She also has numb tingling feelings in her hands and legs at times. They did an EKG in the er. Also I took her to see her pediatrician yesterday. They did another EKG and blood work. All these test came back fine. Her thyroid is fine as well. Still they can’t tell me what’s wrong with my baby. This morning while preparing for school, she began crying about the pain again. So back to the er we went. Another EKG was done. And that was clear also. Please help me! I’m so worried!

    Mary - April 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm Reply
  14. My daughter is 15 she complaint about chest pain an pain ribs adge an that heart hurt causing her feel that she can breath.she just mention to me That started 2weeks ago I took her to accident and emergency hospital after she told me .doctors did ECG an heart xray every thing came back normal. But still complaint about the pain. Doctor provided something for pain an inhaler med .my daughter mention pain still hurt last 10mins or less some time. Then 5 days after she had emergency after school walking from school with friends to catch the bus .friends my daughter pass out for about 5mins after come to she told then she can breath they offering her med inhaler in her bag. Until ambulance came. 5days before doctor mention it may be astma too. But chest pain still there. So again doctor did ECG an blood testing an urine every thing came back normal but my daughter still complaint about the chest .doctor give pandol 500gm for pain an she said mommy my chest still hurt an breath still cutting make her not able to breath .told me she have tighNess in her chest. Would do you recommend.

    Makia - April 26, 2015 at 3:09 am Reply
  15. Quick question can this occur in a 4.5 year old too my son was getting dressed and studding started crying that his chest really hurt right in the center part. Bathroom doesn’t seem to be the cause. So I’m just wondering if he’s issue is the same and not to worry or take him to the emergency room? And if I have questions maybe someone else does too.

    Maureen webber - April 27, 2015 at 7:53 am Reply
  16. My daughter is 2 years and 3 months. She has suffered from cyanosis since she was around 6months old. She has had a heart scan and ECG – Her right side is slightly large but said nothing to worry about. I was told the cyanosis was nothing to worry about too.

    But the cyanosis has got worst and happening around 4 – 5 times per day and over the last week has started to complain of pain in left arm and under her armpit. I have asked to be refered again for the cyanosis (a couple of weeks ago) but should i be worried about the pain in her arm and ask to be seen sooner? Dont want to seem like an over paranoid parent

    Many Thanks Concern Parents

    Kayleigh - April 27, 2015 at 9:05 am Reply
  17. My 16 year old daughter was playing in a varsity softball game the other day and she got hit with a 75-80 mph ball in the center/left side of the chest. She now has chest pain, shortness of breath, and her chest feels like its fluttering. Could this just be a muscle strain or some inflammatory thing? Or is it something I should take her to the doctor for? Thank you!

    Amy - April 29, 2015 at 9:44 pm Reply
  18. Thank you for your post and your kind and thoughtful responses. My 6-year-old son was complaining about similar mild pain only during the evening and had decided he needed to go to the doctor. He is a beginning reader and was able to read some of your posts with help and see that you are a doctor from a hospital for children and felt comfortable that his heart is ok! I appreciate this resource.

    Laura Wailes - April 29, 2015 at 9:56 pm Reply
  19. My daughter of 14yrs old has been having severe chest pains for the past 2 years now.i have been to the drs and hospital so many times i think they’re getting fed up with me.but im extremely worried.her pains started at the same time she started to develop unevenly..ie right breast is twice the size of the left and according to my daughter its very heavy.the Dr has said its tietzes disease prescribed naproxen which doesn’t ease the pain.in fact the medication gives her heart fluttersand is also affecting her eyesight in which she needed another prescription glasses.the hospital recently said she dodoesn’t have tietzes so were confused as well as worried.please can you help.. the not knowing is really crippling. many thanks.debbie

    debbie - May 1, 2015 at 9:11 am Reply
  20. My son is 10 years old he has be complaining of chest pain and there was a knot over his left side of his chest. He was watching T.V. all 4 times that this happened. He says that it feels like someone punching him on the inside. Took him the the E.R. they took a chest x-ray found nothing wrong went to his regular doctor she ordered another set of x-rays a EKG and a echocardiogram. Not sure what else to do. Can this be like a muscle cramps in his chest?

    Tammy - May 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm Reply
  21. I just turned 15…
    for years i sat playing xbox and drinking 44oz. Sodas each day.. and i got the the point where i was feeling a pinching pain in my right side, i was like 222 pounds.. this was 2-4 months ago. It was my wakeup call . So i started turning things around
    . I felt the same thing with the throw up lightheaded feeling, chills again.. so i ate or drank and it went away.. i havent been to the doctors.. and i pretty much know i have diabetes.. i can feel when my blood sugar is low and i have snacks i bring with incase.. i also have a test kit where you prick your finger.. i quit drinking the sodas cold turkey, started eating less carbs and more protein and have since.. lost 30 pounds (im now 190) being 5’9. I had these chest pains most people are describing.. random, sharp or “stabbing” pain in the left side of my chest sometimes worse when breathing but i can jog a little and im fine .. having diabetes and being overweight and unhealthy, im always very worried And stressed. im afraid diabetes is messing up my body in many ways but i dont see how because im doing better than i was before..

    Hayden - May 2, 2015 at 2:02 am Reply
  22. Hi my 7 yr old came from school with chest pain, the pain last it 2 _ 3 min or less. I took her to e.r they did ekg snd ex ray everything looks normal. The pain is so severe that she shakes and looks life she bout to pass out. I took her to go see her doc nothing they can do can you tell me what to do to help my baby thank you

    Carla - May 2, 2015 at 8:00 am Reply
  23. My 14 yr old daughter has been telling me about her chest pain for several mouths. She has been running and jumping lately. Her pain hurts when she’s talking and pressing on it. She said that it come and goes. Should I take her to go see a doctor?

    Megan Copeland - May 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm Reply
  24. My 13 yr old daughter has been complaining me about her chest pain for several mouths. She has been running and jumping lately in the track team in school. She said her pain hurts when she’s talking, pressing on it, and while she’s burping. Her pain is in the center of the chest and a little bit toward the left. Since she said that it hurts when she presses on it i’m thinking it’s probably because she sprain one of her muscle. Last time i took to her to her doctor to get her physical filled out, her doctor said everything was find. She also said that the pain come and goes. Should I worry bout this? Thank You

    Sandy Lin - May 4, 2015 at 6:50 pm Reply
  25. Hi my 14 year old son has been complaining of his heart beating in aggressive mode sometimes, and at the same time he would feel tired. At the hospital they took a chest x ray, done ECG, and even the echo test and all resulted good. even had a thyroid exam and came good as well. On sunday they did the Holter but we do not have the results yet. I am worried sick. He has been talking to a counsellor at school just in case it is something that is worrying him but so far they are saying everything is ok. what could it be?

    Antonella - May 5, 2015 at 5:56 am Reply
  26. I am a 14 year old girl and since I was about 11 or 12 I have been having dull chest pains on my left side. It mostly occurs when I lay on my left side and sometimes it gets better when I switch to my right side. I think my heart beat increases a bit and I do feel a bit short of breath sometimes. This was worse when it first started happening but it got better for a year, only happens very rarely. Recently it started getting worse again, happening more often. Also, I have noticed it will happen after I have recently worked out. So if I have a hard swim practice or do a bunch of sit-ups, the next night I will get the pains. I don’t know if this would help but I am 140 lbs, 5’8”, I eat healthy except at night I will end up eating probably too many cookies :) and I swim competitively 8 months of the year as well as doing sit ups, squats, etc. sometimes. Please let me know what’s up! Do I need to be worried? Thank you!!

    Nora - May 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm Reply
  27. My 12 year old son complains of chest pain on the left side while running and vigorous physical activity. I brought him to an asthma dr and was told it is not asthma. I am concerned that this is heart related. Pain stops when he stops exerting himself. Does this sound like it is heart related?

    Terri - May 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm Reply
  28. Hi my son has been complaining of chest pain for a couple days now, he says it hurts on when he is running or being active but he’s fine when he’s just sitting down. I am concerned because he says the pain is very sharp.

    Sally - May 11, 2015 at 8:50 am Reply
  29. Hello, My 14 year old daughter has had chest pain she describes as sharp which are felt under neath her left breast and all the way to the sternum. She has had it slightly happening all week but very bad since yesterday. I got her to take a deep breath and she said it felt sore. It is not sore when i press against the area though. She actualy had this problem happen 3 months ago too but then it went away after a few days. Both times she looks a bit unwell and weak when it happens. This time just before the chest pain started she had a sickness with a very painful throat but that seems to have cleared now. it sounds like it might be costochondritis however my real concern is about her pulse rate. I measured it today several times and it is at around 120 beats per minute. i have never measured it before so have nothing to compare it to but perhaps its been like this for a while. she has also had trouble some nights falling asleep for the last several months and i noticed doing deep sighs often in the last few months too. she does basicaly hardly any physical exercise. any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. thank you

    Michelle - May 15, 2015 at 4:34 am Reply
  30. Hello. Last year, my 17 year old son began complaining of rapid heat beat and subsequent extreme dizziness if he stopped or even briefly paused intensive activity (such as basketball during PE). His pediatrician referred us to a pediatric cardiologist who had him wear a monitor and asked that he try to recreate the symptoms. He was not able to because school was out and it stormed of two days. He also had a stress test which revealed his heart accelerates abnormally fast and remains very high for the duration of exercise. An echo showed a “floppy” valve. The doctor did not give a diagnosis but felt he would do well as long as he was able to stop when he felt the symptoms occur and that he’d never be able to play sports at a competitive level as a result. For the last two days, he said he’s been experiencing an achy sensation near his heart- sometimes after eating, but belching does not relieve the pain. He’s about to head off to college and I’d like advice on whether his symptoms sound alarming or if it seems something was missed or something new may have developed. He is not overweight, generally active, does not consume excessive amounts of caffeine, smoke or do drugs, and eats like a typical teenage boy. Thank you in advance!

    Brook - May 17, 2015 at 10:37 am Reply
  31. My 7 year old daughter has allergies, headaches every so often and normal growing pains. Otherwise she is healthy but is 54 inches and 88 lbs even though we eat fairly healthy and are generally active. She takes (took) Claritin. She got something viral (a cold) and was fevered for two days. I took her in on the third day (Weds) because she was complaining of chest pain and was still fevered. The Dr listened to her chest and it was clear. I was relieved because that was the main reason I had taken her in, for the chest pain twice before….even before the viral fever. Her ears were full of fluid so they prescribed an antibiotic. She went to school the next day. The following day (Fri) she was getting ready for school and had just taken a bath after taking her Claritin, Amox 500 and vitamins. She came out dripping wet into the living room and said her chest was hurting really bad. I walked with her back into the bathroom to help her dry off. She took two steps into the bathroom and passed out onto the floor. She was unresponsive for probably 30 seconds to a minute. The chest pain was never so sever and never lasted more than a few minutes and she was off doing something else. Once she came to (after I got my phone and my son was on the phone with 911) I drive her to the ER. The EKG came back fine. The pain is in the center lower part of her chest. The Pediatric Cardiologist wants to monitor her heard on a Holter to make sure nothing is going on with the heart. That came about from the ER visit, but that’s not until June 2. I took her off Claritin daily to make sure it wasn’t causing the headaches or chest pain so the only thing she was on was the new antibiotic which I asked to be switched from Amoxicillin to the Z pack, because I was afraid it was related to the passing out. Her brother is allergic to Penicillin drugs. Today we visited our Pediatrician who thinks she may have passed out from the pain. (She has a low pain tolerance). She is tender if you press on the center of the chest low. Our pediatrician prescribed Zantac and a two week waiting period to see if the chest pain comes back before submitting her to radiation and other blood tests.

    Brandi Marlow - May 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm Reply
  32. Hi i am a 17 years old girl
    I was born with heart murmur and for the past few days or weeks I have been getting really bad chest pains when I stand up and when I sit down. Should I go and see my doctor?

    Aamirah - May 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm Reply
  33. My 14 year old daughter has been complaining of pain / tightness on the right side of her chest. This has been happening over the last 4-5 months. It comes and stays for a few days then she is ok. But it is now happening more often and lasts longer. She does play softball so I thought maybe she pulled a muscle. But she knows when it a muscle or not. She says it hurts more by just relaxing lying down and watches tv. This actually has woken her up at 3:00 in the morning, then can not go back to sleep. I’m not sure what to do at this point. Any suggestions

    Terry - May 22, 2015 at 7:17 am Reply
  34. Hi my name is Jacorrey.I’m 13 yes. old,and I’ve been feeling a lot of arm pain that causes weakness on my chest and other parts of my body including my legs,arms, and my hands.what do you think it is?

    Jacorrey Frank - May 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm Reply
  35. Hi, I’m 13 years old (almost 14). When i’m thinking about my heart it starts to hurt. I can’t get out of my mind that i’m going to have a heart disease. I’m getting pain in random body parts for like 1-3seconds. (Like Fingers, Wrist, Abs left and right side) Sometimes i get left abs pain when i walk. By the way i’m getting random stabs in my whole chest. But when i’m thinking about my heart i’m feeling that like an elephant is sitting on my chest what should i do.. When i’m walking outside with my friends talking about stuff i don’t feel pain or even think about it. By the way i’m an Athlete i’m ripped, i have 6abs if that is going to change anything. Sorry for my english mistakes, i’m from Lithuania, please answer. And one last thing I’m feeling pain for whole day sometimes it stops when for example i’m reading books or something. I’m getting these random pains already for 3weeks ~ I think now i’m getting less pain.

    Jacob - May 25, 2015 at 11:18 am Reply
  36. Hello!
    My son is 5 years old. For the past couple weeks every once in a while he will say he has a sharp pain in his rib. It’s always when he is sitting or laying down. The pain lasts anywhere from seconds to a couple minutes. He is a very healthy child and had his last we’ll check a few months ago and the dr said everything was great. I guess I should add that he is very tall for his age so I’m thinking it could be growing pains? Thanks so much!

    Jessica - May 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm Reply
  37. My son is almost 7 years old and sometimes he is not even doing anything strenuous and he will come tell me that his heart is sore and I should take his temperature, on feeling his heartbeat it will be palpitating extremely FAST, he sometimes complains of abdominal pains at the same time, but very rare.
    I am concerned at the fast rate that his heart would be beating and that not doing anything like running or sport.
    Like tonight it happened while he had a total quiet afternoon and had been sitting and watching television for the majority of the late afternoon.
    Please could you advise me on this, it has happened quite often and also he seems to sometimes get such bad headaches that he vomits from it…Thank-you for the time to help. Kind Regards a concerned Mother.Tessa

    Tessa Idrees - May 26, 2015 at 2:30 pm Reply
  38. I have been having chest pains for a while now, they used to be quick stabbing pains that made me stop breathing for a while but right now it is more of a tight pain that has been going on for a few hours. It’s like a tightening pain right over my heart, maybe a little higher. I’m very concerned I will die or have some sort of heart failure if I go to sleep. My dad said it was just growing pains. Thank you so very much for your help.

    Megan - May 27, 2015 at 6:12 am Reply

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