What are the Types of Heart Problems & How to Overcome that in effective way

Tag: types of heart problems

Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring Services that Greatly Mitigate Heart Disease Risk

Cardiac arrhythmia is a common heart disorder characterized by irregular rhythm or heartbeat. The two common conditions, Tachycardia and Bradycardia, refer to decreased and increased heart rhythm, respectively. Both the conditions can lead to severe complications and common symptoms include dizziness, unexplained spells of fainting, breathlessness, chest pain and palpitations. Cardiac rhythm monitoring services are used to observe, diagnose and manage cardiac arrhythmias in patients.

What is cardiac monitoring?

Cardiac event monitoring or cardiac arrhythmia service employs a heart monitor to observe your heart in order to discover any arrhythmia or any other heart condition that may be present. Thus, cardiac event monitoring services helps to constantly monitor the activity of your heart and determine your heart’s health at any point in time, greatly mitigating the risk of heart disease.

In order to reduce the expenses and cater to the increasing number of cardiovascular patients, remote cardiac monitoring provides a convenient way for patients to be observed for longer periods of time without staying in the hospital. Thus, many cardiac specialists choose to collaborate with a remote cardiac event monitoring service centre that constantly monitors the patients and reports the data, analyzed by trained staff, to the doctors. Your doctor can monitor this information to detect any abnormality or risk of heart disease. Two main benefits include cost effectiveness and event monitoring by trained staff that can recognize cases of arrhythmia even if the patient is unaware. Several different types of portable devices can be used for cardiac monitoring and cardiac arrhythmia service, including the following:

Holter Monitor – A Holter monitor is one of the most convenient and effective methods to continually monitor your heart’s activity. A small portable device, it can be easily worn underneath your clothes for as long as required without interfering with your routine activities. The monitor stores the data that can be evaluated when the patient returns the monitor at the doctor’s clinic after the prescribed time. The data can now be analyzed and interpreted to diagnose any abnormal heart condition or rhythm during the period.

Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT) – MCT is ideal for patients suffering from frequent symptoms and can be employed for short-term cardiac monitoring for up to 30 days. Essentially, MCT employs a small portable device that continually records data. On detecting an anomaly, the device sends the data for the event to the monitoring centre where the data is interpreted by trained staff. This technique provides constant monitoring and immediately notifies the concerned doctor in case any abnormality is detected.

Event Recorder – Cardiac Event Recorders are recommended for patients with infrequent symptoms. The main purpose of the device is to record and store the heart rate and rhythm during an event. A cardiac event recorder works only when turned on by the patient.

Insertable Cardiac Monitor – An insertable cardiac monitor is very useful in cases of unexplained fainting. It is a tiny insertable device that continuously monitors and records heart rhythms automatically. Doctors, by observing your heart rhythm before, during or after a fainting spell, can identify whether the fainting is due to arrhythmia or some other cardiac problem.

Indeed, lifestyle changes and proper medication are important to mitigate heart disease. However, with great technology at hand, several cardiac event monitoring services can be employed to mitigate the risk of heart disease by identifying irregular cardiac activity in time. Your doctor can guide you to the right cardiac monitoring service for your condition.

How to Stay Away From Irregular Rhythm After Open Heart Surgery?

Irregular heart rhythm after open heart surgery is a common occurrence. However, post surgical atrial fibrillation mostly does not last longer than few hours or probably few days. But, if you experience atrial fibrillation once, you are much at risk in the future to experience atrial fibrillation as a chronic problem.

What happens with Atrial Fibrillation?

Sometimes, stress or medication can lead to rapid beating of the heart. While normal heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute, pain, stress, medicines, trauma and inflammation can lead to irregular impulses in the heart, affecting the rate of contraction of the heart.

This situation is common post-surgery and is usually self-limiting. However, it is important to address the situation before it turns into a long-term illness.

Physical symptoms of atrial fibrillation include chest pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, breathlessness and excessive sweating.

Can you prevent Atrial Fibrillation?

There is no established method to prevent atrial fibrillation. However, it is possible to control certain other factors that may help in preventing atrial fibrillation. If you have any medical issue such as high blood pressure or a thyroid issue, discuss it with your doctor before going under the knife. If you have time before surgery, chart a routine with your doctor to strengthen your heart and improve your health. Eating healthy and exercising will go a long way in improving the condition of your heart and minimising post-surgical complications.

Your doctor will also suggest blood tests prior to surgery to identify issues such as high blood sugar, anaemia, electrolyte imbalance or high blood pressure and may prescribe medicines to get these under control.

Another major factor leading to atrial fibrillation is post-surgical stress and it is important to discuss pain management with your doctor to avoid pain and trauma after surgery.

How can you treat Atrial Fibrillation?

Ideally, the heart rhythm should correct on its own after some time. However, in certain cases, medical treatment may be required. There are two ways to treat atrial fibrillation – medication and cardioversion.

Depending on your health and situation, often doctors recommend blood thinners to prevent the formation of clots, an associated risk of atrial fibrillation. Other medications may also be prescribed but most of these medicines have side effects and are not effective in the long run.

Cardioversion is the other option where the physician applies mild electric current to regulate the cardiac rhythm.

What to focus on after heart surgery?

After the surgery, patients are mostly kept on a heart monitor so that their heart rhythm can be monitored constantly. The monitoring staff can immediately pick up any irregularities. Constant monitoring is important; as several patients may not be able to identify symptoms of atrial fibrillation immediately post surgery. A post-operative pain management plan as well as proper medication depending on the patient’s age, medical condition and type of surgery must also be discussed with the physician.

Patients must discuss the occurrence, identification and prevention of atrial fibrillation with their doctors before and after the surgery. Treatment may be required in certain cases. If ignored, the condition can lead to the formation of blood clots that can cause a stroke. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.

Optical Heart Rate Monitoring: Everything You Need to Know

Are you into keeping fit and want to ensure you know your heart rate when you are in the thick of your workout exercising away at the gym? You may even be jogging on your normal every-day route or climbing up a mountain just for the sheer thrill of it. While you’re doing these things you want to keep track of how your heart is functioning? Solution: get yourself a heart rate monitor.

There are many types of heart rate monitors on the market, so which type of heart rate monitor should you buy? Let’s briefly check out Optical Heart Rate Monitoring (OHRM) and see what you should know about these.

A heart rate monitor is much more advanced as compared to a basic step counter that just counts the number of steps you take, accuracy may not be that crucial in this case. A OHRM device on the other hand, tells you how hard your heart works, when you are at rest or physically exerting yourself. You want to get very accurate results here.

How Does Optical Heart Rate Monitoring Work?
Have you heard of a method called photo plethysmography (PPG) to measure heart rate? Well! Most wearable ORHM devices use this method that shines light into our skin and measures the amount of light that our blood flow scatters when our heart rate and blood flow volume changes.

History of PPG:
Though PPG is more than 150 years old, it has been revolutionized in these modern times. In a dark room, people would hold their hand up to a candle to check blood flow and blood vessel structure. Two alternating LEDs were used in the first pulse oximeters in hospitals during the early 1980’s to measure blood oxygen and pulse rate. You still see these used in the finger or ear clip devices used in healthcare facilities, today.

Relevant developments within the last decade have concentrated on motion-tolerant PPG as motion and activity creates a lot of internal noise that needs to be eliminated from the equation to find the blood flow signal.

Relevant Technology:
The four technical components used by PPG to measure heart rate are:

  • Optical Emitter – this is a component that emits light into our skin using a couple of LED’s.
  • Digital Signal Processor (DSP) – this component captures the refracted light from the device user and translates those signals into data reflecting heart rates.
  • Accelerometer – this measures motion and combined with the DSP signal is input into motion-tolerant PPG algorithms.
  • Algorithms – the algorithms process the DSP and accelerometer signals into data that quantifies heart rate, calories burned, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.

Metrics:

Once you get the motion tolerant PPG reading right, then some of the biometrics you can derive are:

  • Breathing rate
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Heart rate variability
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiac efficiency
  • VO2 Max (maximum volume of oxygen)

Various Forms of OHRM Devices:
Today in the market you can easily find a variety of wearable OHRM devices of all shapes and sizes, including, but not limited to:

  • Wrist bands
  • Smart watches
  • Leg bands
  • Audio earbuds

Conclusion:
OHRM devices today are almost ubiquitous and every fitness minded individual has some form of OHRM device with them. Whether it is in your lifestyle for personal health or in active workout sessions in the gym, jogging up a mountain slope or running down a track, every person concerned with fitness tends to do optical heart rate monitoring in some form or the other.

Five Paradigm-Shift Cardiovascular Technologies to Watch in 2017

If you are suffering from an abnormal heart rhythm issue or AF (atrial fibrillation) and general heart failure (HF), take heart (pun intended!), as the latest innovations in implants for cardiovascular diseases are being created on the medical frontier, and they may shake up the world of patient care in cardiology. New materials and new technologies are contributing to a paradigm shift in cardiovascular technologies to watch for in 2017.

HeartMate 3:

One of the cardiovascular technologies to watch for is the Heartmate 3 Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD implant. It has already exceeded the 50,000 mark. More than a million HF patients are possible candidates for this device implant in the US alone.

This LVAD has the capacity to pump up to 10 liters of blood per minute. During a 2- year long trial, the HeartMate 3 showed a 92% rate of 6-month survival for HF patients.

HVAD Pump:

The HVAD leads the world in Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) that is implantable into patients. The HVAD Pump has been approved by the appropriate food and drug authorities in the European Union (2009), Australia (2011), and the USA (2012). To date, more than 11,000 final-stage HF patients have received a second chance at life because of this pump.

The pump facilitates complete assistance in ventricular blood circulation once it is implanted. Surgery is minimal invasion due to its smaller pump circuitry as compared to the competing implant rivals available. The pump design provides ample path for circulation, reducing the chance of an event of hemolysis anemia due to the premature breakdown of red blood cells in the patient.

Watchman:

AF is when a heart beats either too fast, too slow, or very irregularly and research has discovered that 20% of patients with AF suffer strokes. Warfarin, an anticoagulant is widely used to reduce the risk of blood clot formation that typically happens in the left atrial appendage (LAA).

Now patients have a choice to go off continuous warfarin intake, by undergoing a one-time medical implant procedure to implant the Watchman LAA device. This device has been implanted in more than 10,000 patients worldwide and has been approved for commercial use in more than 70 countries, today.

Parachute Implant:

Another of the cardiovascular technologies to watch out for that is still under investigation today.

For HF patients, the left ventricle keeps remodeling due to continued heart failure. This implant separates the damaged part of the left ventricle from the functioning part by compensating for the remodeling and as a result, the efficiency of the heart’s ability to pump blood improves.

Cardialen:

In AF patients, the Cardialen system restores the heart’s natural rhythm by constantly monitoring the heartbeat. If the pacemaker device detects an AF it emits electrical impulses of low-energy that the patient hardly feels, to correct the rhythm of the heartbeat.

The patient can switch the device on and off at will, without fear of it malfunctioning and the positive factor of this device is that it is implanted through a low-cost and minimally invasive process. One of the economic and revolutionary cardiovascular technologies to watch out for.

Conclusion:

The success of these cardiovascular technologies to watch out for and the 5 implant devices will be apparent when data from clinical outcomes are published. At this stage the data is still being collected but these advancements give cardiac doctors and patients something to look forward to for better care and control of heart problems.

Common Causes of Heart Palpitation Symptoms

It’s not uncommon to ‘skip a heartbeat’ sometimes, but if the reason behind the sensation in your heart is not an overly anxious moment, you must want to know what caused these heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are sensations of either missing a heartbeat or adding an extra one. While most heart palpitations are harmless and subside on their own without any medical treatment, there may be rare instances of heart palpitations indicating some serious cardiac condition.

To deal better with heart palpitations, it is important to know the common causes triggering them:

Stress & Anxiety:

In most cases, stress and anxiety are the reasons behind heart palpitations. Persistently elevated stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol affect the heart. Taking occasional walks in the park, meditation, breathing exercises and yoga are some of the easiest ways to relieve stress.

Lifestyle Choices:

Nicotine and caffeine are common lifestyle choices, long time addiction to which, not only cause heart palpitations, but also affect cause other physical complications. Abusive drugs like Cocaine, too, are responsible for causing heart palpitations. Sounds incredible, but strenuous exercise, too, can cause heart palpitations. While addiction to caffeine, tobacco, and illegal drugs harms the body in multiple ways, and should be abandoned at the earliest, physical exercise in moderation gradually makes the body strong and resilient to diseases.

Medication:

Various prescribed and OTC medicines can be the source of frequent heart palpitations. From asthma inhalers to antibiotics, and antidepressants to hypertension pills, researchers have found enough evidence to blame these medicines of causing heart palpitations. While caution may be taken in consuming these medicines if you are experiencing frequent heart palpitations, it is wise to consult your physician before stopping prescribed medicine altogether.

Hormonal Changes:

Hormonal changes, especially in women, can be the cause of heart palpitation. Hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can be a cause of sudden sensation in the heart.

Medical Conditions:

Various medical conditions such as low blood sugar levels, anaemia, dehydration, and hyperthyroidism can also be accounted for heart palpitations. While the palpitations itself may not be harmful, they may indicate a far grave medical condition.

Heart Conditions:

Heart palpitations may not always be harmless and simply ignored. In certain cases they indicate serious heart conditions including irregular heart rhythm (or arrhythmia), abnormal heart valves, thickening of heart walls and muscles (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), and weakening or even failure of heart.

While you must not be overly worried about a visiting sensation that lasts for a few seconds, you must immediately consult your doctor if you experience heart palpitations persisting for a long time, may or may not be accompanied by symptoms like, breathlessness, unaccountable sweat, pain in arms and legs, chest pain, or fainting. You may also treat heart palpitations with caution if you have a history of heart conditions.

So, now that you know the various causes triggering it, you can take informed decisions to deal with heart palpitations.

Cardiac Patient Care: Challenges Faced by Caregivers

Statistics show that heart disease is the No. 1 cause for death in the world. It is ranked even higher than all types of cancers combined! In fact, a report by the American Heart Association indicated that it is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Also, direct and indirect costs accrued due to cardiovascular diseases add up to more than US $320.1 billion, this includes health expenditures and lost productivity.

Heart disease is often as difficult for the caregiver as it is for the patient to deal with. Caregivers need to constantly be on their toes as patients go through a range of emotions and display behavior that more often than not interferes with the healing process. Challenges that caregivers face include:

  • Lack of staff: Cardiac patients require a team with highly developed and constantly developing skills to provide immediate care when necessary and eventually help enable the patient towards self-management. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a shortage of almost 4.3 million nurses, physicians and other health human resources worldwide in the coming decade. With the world growing older and the numbers of cardiac patients increasing (According to ‘The Atlantic’ Between 2010 and 2030, the population of senior citizens in America alone will increase by 75% and by 2050, an estimated 88.5 million people will be aged 65 and older) hospitals are in for a serious challenge!
  • Managing Mental/Behavioral inconsistencies: Cardiac diseases can trigger a whole lot of other concerns—depression being one of the main problems. With a cardiac patient, while physical recovery is definitely an immediate concern, it is very important to monitor mental health too. Mental issues can make the recovery process difficult as patients refuse to cooperate. Sometimes, even identifying the concern can be a task. As the symptoms might not be obvious, till it is too late. According to Barry Jacobs, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and director of Behavioral Sciences at the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program, upto 33% of heart attack patients end up developing some degree of depression.

challenges-faced-by-caregivers

However, quicker identification followed by counseling, consistent monitoring, on-time medication coupled with breathing exercises, meditation can be great stress relievers and help decrease behavioral problems.

  • Consistent Monitoring: The bigger the cardiac risk, the more important that the caregiver constantly be around the patient. Irregular heart rhythms and accompanying cardiac symptoms often come and go in an ephemeral manner and sometimes they can go completely undetected. Also, to understand the patient’s current vitals, give medication on time and also determine the cause of recurrent fainting, palpitations, unexplained stroke or atrial fibrillation, etc. if any, the caregiver needs to be around 24/7. This can be very challenging as fatigue can set in.
  • False alarms: Sometimes, fatigue can lead to a caregiver misinterpreting the patient’s behavior or vital stats, leading to unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. On The flipside, a potential threat might get overlooked.

One way to ensure that the caregiver’s job is made easier is to employ technology such as workflow and training management tools, remote/mobile monitoring devices, etc. in all areas of care. It not only reduces the stress on caregivers, but also leads to effective monitoring and analysis of the collected data resulting in efficient diagnosis, care and quicker recovery.

HOW TO SELECT THE BEST CARDIAC MONITORING SERVICES?

Health is where the heart is. Ambulatory cardiac monitoring is now a part of regular healthcare for patients with cardiac trouble.

Cardiac monitoring refers to 24/7 monitoring and care offered to heart patients through use of mobile cardiac telemetry. Various health monitors are used to track a patient’s cardiac health. Ambulatory cardiac monitors measure your heart activity while you do your routine activities and transmit any arrhythmic data to an attended monitoring station. Trained staff analyzes the data received at the monitoring station and contact the physician and the patient as per pre-decided guidelines.

As the market gets flooded with new technology that can transmit real time data through sophisticated monitors backed by teams of experienced technicians to support physicians in providing 24-hour care to heart patients, here are some important points to keep in mind while selecting a cardiac monitoring service provider.

The Algorithm

The usefulness of a cardiac monitor depends on integrating an intelligent algorithm. All monitors work differently and it is important to choose one that classifies each beat and performs complete Rate, Rhythm, Morphology and P wave analysis in order to detect any abnormality or arrhythmia.

The team behind the analysis

When you choose a cardiac monitoring service, while it is indispensable to have an intelligent algorithm, one also needs experienced and trained nurses, paramedics, and certified cardiac technicians to analyze the data that is received by the monitoring station.

When you choose a service provider, do you know who is monitoring the data for your patients? Only select a service provider who has experienced electrocardiographers for data monitoring to ensure quality reporting of your patients’ data.

Choosing a provider with high reporting capabilities

The service provider you pick should also be able to provide detailed customized reports on the data collected for your patients. Thus, before you select your service provider, it would be prudent to find out about their reporting capabilities – how regularly would they send you reports, the format of the reports and whether you can be provided customized reports. It is also worth knowing what kind of reports would you receive – e-reports or physical, and who is creating these reports. Service providers employing electrocardiographers for report generation can add much more value to the service.

Are you looking for ambulatory cardiac monitoring services? With technological advancement happening every single day, it is definitely a good idea to get in touch with several service providers and dig up information online to find the best service for your patients. Keep in mind our handy tips and choose a renowned service provider that gives you 24 hour data monitoring and information reporting based on pre-set criteria – because data in time, can save lives.

We at Techindia deliver real-time, world-class Cardiac Monitoring Services to health care providers. We have a highly experienced team of Certified Cardiac physicians who can monitor and report various factors such as ECG diagnostic reports, Arrhythmia analysis report, Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry etc. If you are looking for cardiac monitoring services, Techindia is the best possible option for you. Feel free to ask queries through our contact form or Email us at info@techindia.com.

CARDIAC RHYTHM INTERPRETATION

Techindia is a globally recognized and trusted provider of ECG diagnostics, reporting & interpretation services for leading IDTFs and large hospitals. Our centralized Cardiac Monitoring Center offers near real-time precision analysis, reporting and diagnostics of digital ECG rhythms through our 24/7/365 delivery model. Our team audits the ECG report data in accordance with all current Cardiac safety guidelines and complies with global regulations and standards.

Our team comprises of Board Certified Cardiology Technicians, Project Managers, MD Cardiologists, Consultants, Data managers and Bio-statisticians …

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CENTRAL AND OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA – A RISK FACTOR FOR PATIENTS WITH CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

Congestive-Heart-Failure

Central and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are very commonly underdiagnosed in the Congestive Heart Failure patients. Men are especially at a higher risk for Central Sleep Apnea as they have a less stable sleep architecture than women as well as a greater number of sleep–wake transitions and shorter slow-wave sleep, which makes them more susceptible to respiratory control system instability and central apneas. Patients with Congestive Heart Failure and Central Sleep Apnea are at a higher risk for death and cardiac transplantation.

Treatments specifically aimed at Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea in patients with Congestive Heart Failure have shown to improve cardiovascular function and clinical status. For example, continuous positive airway pressurehas been shown to alleviate both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea along with improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction, decrease in urinary and plasma norepinephrine concentrations, and improved symptoms of heart failure. Oxygen also alleviates Central Sleep Apnea and reduces nocturnal urinary norepinephrine concentration.

The clinical characteristics of patients with Central Sleep Apnea appear to differ from those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, probably reflecting important differences in the underlying pathophysiologies of these two breathing disorders. In a study of men with Congestive Heart Failure, it was found that those with Obstructive Sleep Apnea were heavier and were more prone to snoring than those with Central Sleep Apnea or no sleep apnea. Patients with Central Sleep Apnea, on the other hand, had a lower left ventricular ejection fraction. Hypocapnia has been found to be a chief risk factor for Central Sleep Apnea in both men and women. Increasing age is also an additional independent risk factor for Central Sleep Apnea along with atrial fibrillation which is a risk factor for sleep-disordered breathing in general but not for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Hypocapnia in Congestive Heart Failure appears to be related to the presence of high left ventricular filling pressures and pulmonary congestion which provoke hyperventilation through stimulation of pulmonary vagal irritant receptors. Atrial fibrillation is a marker for loss of atrial contraction and poorer cardiac pumping function and it can lead to a higher left ventricular filling pressure. Increasing age may play a role in increasing the risk for Central Sleep Apnea through similar mechanisms. Compared with younger Congestive Heart Failure patients, those who are older tend to have less compliant left ventricles with higher left ventricular filling pressures, as well as an increased prevalence of pulmonary venous hypertension. This may place them at a higher risk for nocturnal hyperventilation and Central Sleep Apnea.

These results are presented as reported by the Sleep Research Laboratory of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Departments of Medicine, The Toronto Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.