Understanding Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases remains to be one of the top causes of death not just in the US but in other countries as well. While advancement in technology has made it possible for the medical profession to assess the probability of one developing these diseases, very few can actually predict when a heart attack or a Sudden Cardiac Arrest would strike. That being the case, what one can do is understand how the heart works and how these diseases occur in order to lessen the chances of it developing.
Just like any muscle as well as organ in the body, the heart needs constant supply of oxygen coming from the blood. Unlike other organs, however, it is only the heart that has a self-starting clump of cells. It is these clump of cells that make it possible for the heart to keep to a regular beating pattern. Why is keeping a regular beating pattern important? A regular heart beat makes it possible for the blood to circulate in an efficient manner. If the heart skips a beat, it could result to oxygen starvation which, in turn, could lead to tissue necrosis and subsequent organ failure.
Not all cardiovascular diseases directly concern the heart. In some cases, clogging of the blood vessels due to the build up of fatty deposits can put undue stress to the heart which could, later on, lead to heart attack. Having said that, you have to be aware that some of the factors that could increase the chances of a heart diseases include smoking, family history, the existence of other medical conditions such as Diabetes and Hypertension, and unhealthy lifestyle.
In most cases, a heart disease might present itself as chest pain that radiates towards the extremities, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and nausea. In the case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the victim might instantly fall unconscious without experiencing any of these symptoms. Now, cardiologists are able to narrow down the specific condition that a patient might have using a variety of tools such as the ECG, EKG, 2D echo, and stress test. In some cases, hospitals will also make use of CT scan and Nuclear Imaging. The patient is also typically subjected to an interview in order to ascertain how various activities affect him or her.
Depending on the kind of heart condition a patient might have, certain treatment can be suggested. For example, aspirins are typically prescribed for its anti platelets ability which makes blood less sticky. Beta blockers may also be prescribed by doctors to patients who have irregular heart rhythms or who have problems when it comes to the pumping action of the heart. For patients who have blockages along their blood vessels, medical practitioners typically do angioplasty. This allows the surgeons to take out what is causing the blockage which, in turn, allows the blood to flow more freely.If the situation is grave, doctors might also conduct a bypass surgery. In a bypass surgery, blood is directed towards the machine while the heart is undergoing “repair”.
In all of these situations, a knowledge of CPR, or, at the very least, the presence of an AED unit, can help ensure that the patient is able to pull through.