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September 19, 2018

Heart Care: Emergency Room Tips

Heart Care: Emergency Room Tips

The heart is a vital organ of the cardiovascular system that is in charge of maintaining a balanced blood circulation throughout the body. It is also in charge of eliminating all metabolic wastes from the body. Heart complications are likely to arise when it is not functioning properly. 

According to FrontLine ER, here are some of the conditions that can affect your heart.

Heart Disease

Heart disease, also known as heart and blood vessel disease includes several problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis.

Heart Attack

This condition occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood flow to one part of the heart. When this clot prevents the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery starts to die.

Stroke

The most common type of stroke is known as an ischemic stroke. It takes place when the blood vessel linked to the brain gets blocked by a blood clot.

Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure means that the heart isn’t pumping blood as it is supposed to. The heart keeps functioning, but the body’s requirement for blood and oxygen is not adequate.

Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heart rhythm. The heart can either beat too slow (Bradycardia), too fast (Tachycardia) or irregularly.

Heart Valve Problems

Stenosis results from the blockage of the small opening(s) of the heart valves that allow the blood to flow through as it should. When this happens, blood can leak through, a condition known as regurgitation.  Also if the valve leaflets prolapse back into the upper chamber, it develops a disease called prolapse.

Congenital Heart Defects

These are heart defects that usually develop while a baby is in the womb. As the heart grows, the deficiencies continue progressing. Some medical conditions or medications taken by the mother and genetics may play a significant role in causing heart defects.

Other additional causes of a heart disease include:

  • Infections from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals that reach your heart muscle.
  • Age, Sex, lifestyle habits, and family history
  • Radiation therapy and chemotherapy drugs
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Physical inactivity Stress and depression

Many forms of heart conditions are preventable and can be treated with regular evaluation. You may, however, be required to make some lifestyle changes. It’s important to be on the lookout for the following cardiovascular symptoms.  Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor at FrontLine ER.

  • Pressure and tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath, lightheadedness
  • Numbness, soreness, and coldness in your legs or arms
  • Pain in the upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or back
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Pale gray or blue skin color
  • Legs and abdominal swelling
  • In infants, shortness of breath during feedings

Heart diseases usually occur unannounced. You may experience any of the symptoms above while at home or work. If it happens, stop whatever you are doing and proceed to sit or lie down. The signs can increase in frequency but they may not be so severe as to warrant a visit to FrontLine ER. In this case, take a nitroglycerin (NT6) pill or use an NTG spray as advised by your physician.

However, if you are in Richmond or Dallas Texas and these symptoms worsen, call 911 or ask someone to drive you to FrontLine ER immediately.

Heart Care at Home

If you’re a caregiver at home, make it your responsibility to help your loved one take medications as directed and on time.  Strive to educate yourself and learn more about the drugs that your loved one receives.

Nonetheless, you can help prevent the occurrence of other types of heart conditions by making lifestyle changes such as:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Control health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes
  • Exercise daily   and maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat and salt
  • Reduce and manage anxiety and stress

Clinical Heart Care at FrontLine ER

In the emergency room, the doctor first monitors all the vital signs like the pulse patterns, blood pressure, respiration, and body temperature.

Afterward, the findings they have made will help to determine the tests and procedures that should be carried out. These tests help the doctor determine what caused the heart condition, and the extent of the damage.

The doctor will order chest x-rays to check for the enlargement of the heart and pulmonary congestion, especially when the patient has experienced heart failure. An Electro-Cardio Graph (ECG) is conducted to detect heart contraction abnormalities. 

Commonly prescribed medications for the patients with heart disease are:

Clot busters to get rid of blood clots, Digitalis to improve contractions of the heart muscles and cardiac output and Diuretics that help to eliminate excess fluid from the body, thereby preventing systemic edema.

The patient is also given oxygen, which is administered using a nasal cannula or oxygen mask to ensure sufficient saturation.

Emergency Care, Emergency Room