Cardiovascular Disease - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims


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Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease involves many categories of heart disease, such as arrhythmias, vascular disease and congenital heart disease. This article refers to the diagnosis and management of vascular disease, in which the arteries are blocked by plaque leading to angina and the possibility of getting a heart attack. This form of cardiovascular disease can affect the electrical system of the heart, leading to cardiac arrhythmias.

Symptoms of cardiovascular disease from vessel disease include having chest pain known as angina pain, pain, weakness or numbness in the extremities, particularly the left arm, and shortness of breath. These symptoms often come on abruptly with no warning or during exercise. If the disease is severe enough, the patient can have a heart attack, sudden death or cardiac arrhythmias. Heart failure is another possibility of severe cardiovascular disease, caused by damaged blood vessels.

Symptoms due to arrhythmia include a racing heart beat or slow heartbeat or a fluttering in the chest, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, fainting or light headedness.

The causes of heart disease include having too much cholesterol in the system. The cholesterol builds up and causes blockages in the arteries, especially in the heart, peripheral vascular system and carotid arteries. When it builds up in the arteries of the heart, it is called atherosclerosis of the heart. Too much build up in the arteries and the arteries become stiff and thick. Atherosclerosis is the major cause of cardiovascular disease. It is often caused by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, obesity and a smoking history.

Causes of an arrhythmia include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, smoking, diabetes, excess alcohol use, drinking too much caffeine, stress, drug abuse and using some over the counter cold medications.

Many cases of heart disease are managed by general practitioners. The main job of these doctors is to recognize those that have risk factors and manage their issues around getting heart disease. These issues include having high blood pressure, smoking, having obesity, having diabetes and having elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.

The doctor needs to manage these conditions, particularly elevated cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, for which medical treatment is available. There can be education on weight loss and smoking habits. All of these can lower the risk of getting cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis.

Arrhythmias can be treated with medication or a pacemaker. Some people can be treated with an implantable defibrillator, which can help a patient whose heart spontaneously stopped.

There are complications of not treating cardiovascular disease properly. These include the following:

  • Heart failure. The heart becomes too damaged with multiple heart attacks and the muscle becomes weak with a failure of the muscle to adequately pump blood around the body. The patient has swelling of the tissues and low blood pressure. Shortness of breath can be a symptom of heart failure.
  • A heart attack is the ultimate failure to a general practitioner. A heart attack involves a blockage of a coronary artery that results in a lack of oxygen to part of the muscle of the heart. That heart muscle dies, leading to an area of weakness of the heart and a possible arrhythmia.
  • A stroke comes from some of the same risk factors for heart attack. The blockage is usually in the carotid artery in the neck but can also be in the brain arteries. The symptoms are weakness or numbness of the extremities, difficulty walking, dizziness and difficulty speaking.

Proper treatments include changes in lifestyle including dietary changes and exercise. Medications such as statin drugs are used to improve cholesterol; blood pressure medications are used to control the blood pressure and procedures such as an angioplasty can be done along with a coronary artery bypass for severe cardiovascular disease.


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