PC Based Resting And Stress ECGs Can Save You A Great Deal Of Time & Money

Recording the electric activity of the heart over a period of time, is the purpose of getting an ECG – Electrocardiogram. Maintaining cardiovascular health has become a priority for each one of us given that the heart diseases have in a way, made many people face hardship in leading a good life in the past few years. It’s not unknown that undergoing a scanner has been the most accurate solution but as it is, technological advancements have revolutionized the healthcare industry. As such, the PC based resting ECG or stress ECG tests are the proven examples of the advances in the medical field.

PC based resting ECG system and stress ECG are the PC solutions designed especially for the healthcare professionals (mainly cardiologists) to carry out their daily activities with ease. To help you understand it better, let us briefly define the features of both the tools.

PC Based Resting ECG

It’s a full-featured 12 lead PC cardiology system that’s highly reliable, durable, and simple to learn. Buy a PC based resting ECG from a reputable brand and you will get an EMR compatible system. Below, are the top five features of this equipment-

12 lead acquisition of the PC ECG

ECG interpretation classes for beginners and the practitioners such as MIS, Blocks, Enlargements, Axis, and AFib

10 ft ECG patient cable

HR with global measurements and full patient demographics

Higher available ECG frequency response – 0.05-150Hz std

PC Based Exercise Stress ECG

Going a step further, you can have your patients stop worrying about their future and relax with the wireless PC based exercise stress ECG. It’s an all-in-one cardiology system available with fully imperative 12 lead diagnostic stress ECG and comprehensive patient charting and more. It helps provide your patient with the ultimate responses during their workout sessions. And here are top most features of a stress ECG-

Simultaneous 12 lead PC based ECG diagnostic acquisition

Real-time ECG monitoring with user selectable leads be it 1-, 2-, 3-, or 12- and patient’s full demographics and information.

Unlimited capturing of the data of ECG durations

29 preprogrammed protocols

Offer on-screen status of the test whether phase time, total time, speed, grade, or target HR

The aforementioned tools are clearly the exemplary solutions invented to brighten up several lives. They are an innovation designed to make the data management easier at the point of care. Besides, the unique cardiology systems can save a great deal of time and offer more prompt responses to the cost pressures of today’s medical zone thereby, enhancing the diagnostic performance.

Consult the Specialist for Your Heart Treatment

The heart has the function of circulating blood to different parts of the body. Without the heart, it is impossible to live. If the body will not receive blood, then there is no way it receives nutrition to do any physical work. The working of the heart is affected by many diseases. These diseases are either congenital or develop as we age. In both the cases, there is trouble in circulating the blood. This is the time when you need heart treatment.

There are different types of diseases which have the potential to hit our heart. Symptoms shown by each of them are as follows –

• Coronary artery disease

Chest pain, also known as angina is the most common symptom. There is discomfort, heaviness and painful feeling in the chest. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness, dizziness, and sweating.

• Heart attack

Heaviness and pain the chest particularly below the breastbone. There is discomfort which radiates to the back and jaw. Along with all of these, there is sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Initially, there is the only discomfort but it can elevate to excruciating pain.

• Arrhythmia

It is distinguished by an irregular heartbeat. Those heartbeats may be too fast or slow. The symptoms observed include fluttering of the heart, pounding in the chest, dizziness, fainting, fatigue etc.

• Heart valve disease

Difficulty in breathing which occurs mostly when you are doing daily physical activities is the main symptom. There is also a feeling of extra weight put in the chest along with weakness and dizziness.

• Heart failure

While coughing, there is white sputum coming out. There is a rapid gain in weight. Other symptoms include dizziness, weakness, swelling in ankles, legs, and abdomen.

Just like the symptoms, there are different causes of the diseases. Some of the causes are mentioned below –

• Coronary artery disease

This disease is caused in the body due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This plaque narrows the coronary arteries which lead to a lesser flow of blood. It happens due to different reasons such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.

• Heart attack

It occurs when the flow of blood is blocked. It happens due to the buildup of cholesterol. It is also known as atherosclerosis. One or the other plaques rupture and spill cholesterol or other substances into the bloodstream.

• Arrhythmia

These irregular heartbeats are caused due to a heart attack which is occurring right now. There may be a prior heart attack which has scarred the heart tissue. Other reasons may include drug stress and sleep apnea.

• Heart valve disease

There are two main causes of valve diseases. They are regurgitation and stenosis. In the former one, blood leaks backward as the valves don’t close properly. In the latter one, valves become narrow leading to reduced blood flow.

• Heart failure

It occurs due to the accumulation of other conditions that have already weakened the heart. Some of the conditions which lead to heart failure are coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, faulty heart valves, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis etc.

Following are the tests which help in the accurate diagnosis of heart problem –

• Electrocardiogram – Also known as ECG, they record electrical signals which help in finding out the irregularities in the heart’s rhythm and structure.

• Holter monitoring – you need to wear this portable device to record a continuous ECG, usually for 24 to 72 hours. Heart irregularities which are not found in the tests are recorded in this test.

• Echocardiogram – It is a non-invasive test in which ultrasound of the chest is done to show the details of the heart’s structure and function.

Some of the common procedures to treat the heart of the irregularities are explained below –

1. Coronary Angioplasty

This procedure involves the insertion of a tiny balloon which widens the clogged artery. It is often combined with a stent to diminish the chances of narrowing the arteries again. Angioplasty is mainly done to treat atherosclerosis. It is the buildup of fatty plaques in the blood vessels. If lifestyle changes are not enough, then angioplasty will be suggested to you. It is recommended to you in case of a heart attack or chest pain or some other related symptoms.

2. Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)

CABG is a major surgery in which the flow of blood is redirected around a section of the blocked artery. The new pathway improves the blood flow. The healthy vessel can be taken either from your leg, arm or chest. This surgery is an option when there is a narrowing of several arteries. If angioplasty is not working, then this surgery is suggested. It is also used in emergency situations such as a heart attack. Lifestyle changes are a must after the surgery.

3. Heart transplant

A transplant is a surgical procedure which is done to replace a diseased and non-functioning heart with the help of a working one taken from a deceased donor. It is done to treat end-stage heart failure which is caused by coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, congenital heart defect, arrhythmia, amyloidosis etc. It is not a cure for heart disease but a life-saving treatment in itself.

CAD: Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary heart disease, Coronary artery disease (CAD) and Ischemic heart disease (IHD) are synonyms and includes a bunch of disease like stable angina, unstable angina, myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death.

Coronary heart disease develops when the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart itself gets blocked due to the cholesterol or other substances gets deposited on the inner side of the blood vessels called the plaque, this narrowing of arteries is called atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis. If it takes place in one of the major heart supplying arteries then it causes heart attack, stroke or peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

It reduces the elasticity of the blood vessels or narrows the inside area restricting the normal flow of the blood. It leads to the deficiency of oxygen in the heart muscles and causes chest pain also called angina.

Angina can be of two types:

Stable angina is the chest pain which occurs regularly with different activities. Unstable angina is when angina changes its intensity, also it can lead to myocardial infarction.

CAD weakens the blood muscles and leads to reduced functioning of heart in pumping the blood into the body, this is called heart failure. This also develops irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.

Sometimes the plaque ruptures, gets stuck up in the artery somewhere and totally blocks the blood flow leading to oxygen cut off from that particular area causing permanently damaged heart muscle or scarring of them.

Causes: It is caused due to the cholesterol deposition on the inner lining of the blood vessels of the heart muscles.

Symptoms: Initial detection of the disease is done through its symptoms which are:
• shortness of breath (dyspnea)
• chest pain (discomfort in the chest and increasing into travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw)
• sweating
• nausea
• indigestion
• heartburn
• weakness

At risk: People with risk of getting IHD are/with:
• hypertensive
• smokers
• diabetic
• obese
• high blood cholesterol
• High resting heart rate
• Depression and stress
• Kidney disease
• Family history
• lack of exercise
• poor diet
• excessive alcohol intake
• 40 years old men and women are at great risk of developing this disease.

Diagnostic test: There are many test which help in the diagnosis of CAD:
• ECD or EKD: To measure electrical activity, rate and regularity of heartbeat.
• Chest X-ray: Pictures the heart, lungs and other organs of the chest.
• Echocardiogram: Ultrasound waves are used to picture the heart.
• Exercise stress test (EST): While walking on the treadmill, heart rate is measured.
• Cardiac catheterization: Checks the blockage in the heart arteries by inserting a thin, flexible tube through an artery in the groin, arm or neck to reach the heart to collect blood samples and to inject dye.
• Coronary angiogram: Injected dye is detected via X-rays point out the blocked areas in the arteries.

Prevention: To keep the disease at bay people need to control with medication and keep:
• Blood pressure
• Diabetes
• Cholesterol
• Proper diet
• Regular exercise
• Less alcohol intake

Management: Changes in the lifestyle is very helpful in living fit and healthy. Medications which help in managing the disease includes:
• Antiplatelet like aspirin
• Statins
• Beta blockers
• Calcium antagonists
• Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
• Nitroglycerin.

Some procedures are also done to increase the inner width of the arteries like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) like coronary stent and angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Tomorrow I Am Going To Do Something About My Cholesterol

If you’ve said that you’re like many other Americans who share a concern about the risk of coronary heart disease. But if you’ve never quite gotten around to doing something about it, keep reading. You’ll find answer to some of the most common questions that people have about cholesterol, and what you can do to control it. Happily, you’ll find that taking control of cholesterol is a lot easier and better tasting than you thought!

Why is cholesterol suddenly such a big deal?

If you’ve noticed that cholesterol has received increased attention over the past few decades, you’re right. In 1985, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health launched the national Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). The program’s goal is the reduction of illness and death from coronary heart disease (CHD) by reducing the number of Americans with high blood cholesterol. The impetus behind the NCEP was smoking-gun evidence that lowering high blood cholesterol reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. As a matter of fact, a one-percent decrease in cholesterol yields a two-percent decrease in the chance of a heart attack!

Surveys also indicated that neither physicians nor the general public were adequately informed about the relationship between cholesterol and CHD. This led to an aggressive strategy of public and professional education. So yes, you have been hearing more about cholesterol, because there’s a lot more to hear.

What is coronary heart disease?

Over time, cholesterol as well as other blood born substances deposits themselves on the interior walls of the coronary arteries. When this build-up restricts the flow of blood through the arteries, too little oxygen reaches the heart. At best, CHD victims suffer chest pain (angina); at worst, a deadly heart attack – the kind that accounts for 30 percent of nearly two million deaths in the United States each year.

While elevated levels of blood cholesterol seriously increase a person’s risk of CHD, tacking on smoking and high blood pressure, the other main risk factors, multiplies that risk.

How many Americans have high cholesterol?

The American Medical Association published these figures based on NCEP estimates: Thirty-six percent of Americans have cholesterol levels that are high enough to warrant being under the care of a physician. About 102 million Americans ages 20 years and older are candidates for medical advice and intervention for high levels of blood cholesterol.

On top of that, there are millions more who should take immediate steps to bring their blood cholesterol levels into the “desirable” range.

In other words, if your cholesterol level could stand some tinkering, you’ve got something in common with better than one-out-of-every-two Americans!

What role does age play?

If you are between the ages of 20 and 39, the likelihood is one-in-five that your cholesterol level is too high. That rate jumps to one-in-two between the ages of 40 and 59. Over the age of 60, there’s a 60-percent chance that you have a problem.

Should you be screened for high cholesterol?

If you’re over the age of 20 you should! The NCEP suggests that you have the test done at least once every five years.

Your initial evaluation will determine your total cholesterol level and assess risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure and your personal as well as family health history. Often, cholesterol screening is carried out during the course of a routine physical examination, but advances in finger-stick testing procedures (where the finger is pricked in order to draw a minute quantity of blood) make widespread initial screening in non-clinical settings a practical and convenient alternative. Borderline-high or high levels of blood cholesterol found using the finger-stick method should be confirmed by your family physician.

The important thing is that you know your cholesterol level. Blood cholesterol is measured in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl). Levels below 200 mg/dl are classified as “desirable blood cholesterol,” those between 200 and 239 mg/dl are “borderline-high blood cholesterol” and above 240 mg/dl are “high blood cholesterol.” At 200 and above, the risk of CHD steadily increases.

In general, the NCEP recommends that persons with blood cholesterol levels between 200 and 239 mg/dl adopt heart-healthy dietary habits and be retested annually. If additional risk factors are present, further testing will likely be required.

Persons with blood cholesterol levels above 240 mg/dl should have additional testing to determine a course of treatment in order to lower their blood cholesterol level.

Should children be screened?

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition believes that children with family histories of either early CHD or high cholesterol should be evaluated. “Early” means prior to the age of 50 in men and 60 in women.

For a variety of reasons, the Academy doesn’t believe in universal testing for children, but its view isn’t shared by all. Cory Servaas, MD, Director of the Children’s Better Health Institute, says that between 20 and 30 percent of the children under the age of 12 that her organization tests “have cholesterol levels higher than we think they should be… 180 mg/dl.” And she adds: “Since the screen test is inexpensive and easy to do, why not do it? Often we don’t know what the family history is in order to know whether a child should be tested.”

Is there really ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol?

Absolutely! But first, it’s important to understand that everyone, regardless of age, needs cholesterol. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes and for the manufacture of bile acids. It’s also the chemical precursor of hormones such as progesterone, testosterone and estrogen. All cells in the body can manufacture cholesterol – 80 percent is produced by the liver – and there is no known physiological reason to supplement the body’s own cholesterol with dietary cholesterol.

In order for cholesterol to get from where it is manufactured – in the liver, for example – to where it is needed to support metabolism, it is transported as a lipoprotein. (Lipoprotein are substances that allow insoluble fats like cholesterol to travel around in water-based blood.) Low density lipoproteins (LDLs) carry cholesterol outbound from where it is manufactured, while high density lipoproteins (HDLs) transport it to the liver. At this point, the cholesterol can either be metabolized further, or passed into the intestine for elimination. Because HDLs limit the amount of cholesterol in the blood, they provide protection against dangerously high cholesterol levels. High levels of HDLs have been associated with a lower incidence of CHD.

If your cholesterol tests in the “high” range, or if you are “borderline-high” with additional CHD risk factors, your physician will do additional tests to establish the relationship of LDLs to HDLs.

What can you do to maintain a heart-healthy diet?

You don’t have to be a professional dietitian, or eat a boring diet in order to reduce or maintain a desirable cholesterol level. You also don’t have to carry a calculator around in order to add up milligrams of this or that. What you do need to know are some basic principles.

  • Eat less fat! There are three types of fat: saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. A heart-healthy diet requires that you reduce your consumption of saturated fats.

They’re found in meat and dairy products, as well as in commercially prepared baked goods made with coconut oil, and cocoa fat. Read the labels!

Instead of eating foods high in saturated fats, shift your emphasis toward complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits and vegetables), seafood and poultry sans skin. If you do eat meats select lean cuts and remove as much of the fat as possible before cooking. By cutting back on fat, you’ll also dramatically reduce calories, since fat contains twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates.

  • Substitute polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats for those that are saturated. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can actually help you to reduce your cholesterol. And recent studies conducted at the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, indicate that monounsaturated fats lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while leaving HDL (good cholesterol) levels intact. Canola oil is a wonderful source of monounsaturated fat. It’s one of the principal cooking oils in Japan, a country widely regarded for its low rate of heart disease.
  • Reduce dietary cholesterol. Avoid organ meats altogether and eat fewer egg yolks.
  • Increase dietary fibre. Never before has fibre been easier to introduce into your diet. Lately we’ve been hearing a great deal about oat bran as a source of fibre, and for good reason. Studies indicate that oat bran, when eaten regularly, can reduce cholesterol by up to 19%.
  • Exercise! Exercise has shown to reduce the risk of CHD by increasing level of good cholesterol HDLs in the blood.
  • Stop Smoking! Exercise raises HDL levels, but smoking reduces them. Smokers run an added risk of CHD.

Do school lunch programs support heart-healthy dietary standards?

Jayne Newmark, national spokesperson for the American Dietary Association, cautions that school lunch programs are self-supporting, and therefore, sell foods that kids are most apt to buy. “Our job is to get kids to like foods that are heart-healthy. Today, you see a lot of hamburgers and French fries because that’s what kids like. We have a selling job to do. That’s why we’re trying to get nutrition into the curriculum. But education really starts at home and it can’t begin too soon,” says Newmark.

What are the additional benefits of a heart-healthy diet?

A high-fat and low-fibre diet has been linked to cancers of the colon and breast, as well as to diverticular disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and even osteoporosis. And if that isn’t enough, there’s always obesity to appeal to the vanity in us all.