Friday, April 20, 2012

The Human Heart

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The human heart is the organ most needed for life.The heart is defined/recoginized

as a muscular,pear-shaped organ slightly larger than a clenched fist, which is located

in the center of the circulatory system.The heart has the hardest job which is pumping

blood throughout the whole human body.It pumps blood at a rate of more than 4

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quarts a minute and weigh around 8-1 ounces, this organ beats at a rate of 7 times

a minute (on an average).The heart is one of the most amazing organs!

The heart is a very strong muscle. It consists of several layers of tough

muscular wall, called the myocardium. The outside is covered by a thin tissue called

the pericardium and the inside is linded with a layer called the endocardium. The

heart is divided in the middle to make the right and the left heart, which in turn are

subdivided into chambers. The auricle, is the upper chamber and the ventricl is the

lower chamber.The auricles recieve blood for entering the heart; the ventricles pump

the blood out.The circulated blood enter the heart through the right auricl, passes

through th tircuspid valve into the right ventricle below, then it is pumped through

the pulmonary artery to the lungs for oxygenation.Stimulataneously, the oxygenated

blood is pumoed through the left auricle, flows through the bicuspid or mitral, valve

into the left ventricl and then is pumped into the aorta and out to the arteries of the

body.The hearts valves allow the blood to flow in one direction only and help

maintain the pressure required to pump the blood throughout the whole body.The

heartbeat or otherwise known as pumping of the heart is caused by a;ternating

contractions and relaxations of the myocardium.The contractions are stimulated by

electrical impulses the sinoatrial, or S-A, node located in the muscle or the right

auricle. An impuls from this node causes the auricles to contract, which then forces

blood into the ventricles.The atrioventricular controls the impulses the cause the

ventricles to contract, which is located in the junction of the ventricles. This whole

process is called the cardiac cycle.The relaxation period is called diastole and the

period of contraction is called systole. Diastole is the loger of the phases so that the

heart can rest between contractions. The rate or triggering the S-a impulses is

regulated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This system is involuntary which

means we don’t have to think about it in order fo that to happen. The heart beat

slows or accelerates in respons to physical activity. Theart can be heard through a

device called a stethoscope, when placed against the chest a healthy heart will make a

“lub-dub.......lub-dub” kind of sound. The “lub” is caused by the closing of the valves

between th auricles and the ventricles. The “dub” is caused by the closing of the

valves of the arteriesleadind out of the heart. Heart murmurs may be easily heard by

a physician as a soft shiwshin or hissing sound. Murmurs may indicate that blood is

leaking through an imperfectly closed valve and may signal a serous heart problem.

Theree are main types of blood vessels arteties, capillaries, and veins.

Arteries begin in the aorta , the large artery leaving the heart. Arteries can carry

oxygen-riched blood away fom the heart to all the body’s tissues. They branch several

times becoming smaller as the carry blood further away from the heart. Capillaries

are small, thin blood vessels that connect the arteries and the veins. Their thin walls

allow oxygen, nutrients , carbod dioxide and waste products to pass to and from the

tissue cells. Veins are blood vessels that take oxygen poor blood back to the heart.

Veins become larger as the become closer to the heart. The superior vena cava is the

large vein that brings blood from the head and arms to the heart , the inferior vena

cava brings blood from the abdomen and the legs to the heart. This vast system of

vessels is over 60,000 miles long, which is enough to go around the world times!

There are many disorder to the heart. the main one is a heart attack. The

definition of a heart attack is a disorder in which damage to an area of heart muscle

occure because of an inadequate supply of oxygen to that area.Causes include clot

formation or spasm in one of the arteries that supply the heart muscle (a coronary

artery). This and other similar conditions block the supply of oxygen to an area of the

heart, whic leads to damage or death of cells in that particular area. Most often this

occurs in a coronary artery that has been narrowed from changes related to

atherosclerosis (which I will explain later). The damaged tissue resuts in a

permanenet loss of contraction in that portion of the heart muscle. Risk factors that

lead to a heart attack are somking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, high fat diet, high

blood cholesterol levels, obesity, male gender, age over 65,and heredity. A personal

or famile history of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral

vascular disease, angina, or kidney failure may indicate increased factors leading to a

heart attack. Occasionally an overwhelming amount of stress can lead to a heart

attack. In older older people straining to have a bowel movement can be a risk factor.

The cardinal symptom to a heart attack is chest pain, but in some cases when you are

older or a diabetic chest pain may not be present. Other sympoms may include

weakness, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting. Heart attacks occur in

approximately every 0 out of 1,000 people per year, which is a major cause to

sudden death in adults. Symptoms include chest pain below the sternum, back pain,

abdominal pain which may radiate to the chest, arms,shoulder, to the neck, teetch,

jaw,and to the back this pain is prolonged for more than 0 minutes which is relieved

by rest or nitroglycerin, shortness of breath which may or may not be occumpanied

by pain, sough, lightheadedness - dizzyness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, sweating dry

mouth, feeling of “impending doom” , anxiety, seizures, fatigue, blood pressure low,

and unusual or strange behavior. The following tests are performed to see what

damage was done coronary anginography, nuclear ventricularography,

echocardiography, treadmill, LDH, LDH isoenzymes, CPK, CPK isoenzymes,

adolase, apolipoprotein B100, apolipoprotein Cll, AST, BUN, chem-0, cholesterol

test, heart MRI, lipids serum , myoglobin serum,and myoglobin urine. Treament for

the attack is very detailed. Hospitilazation is usualy required for a period of 1 to 14

days. Treatment may include the need for intensive care and may involve emergency

surgery. ECG monitorin is begun immedately because the life threating

dysrhymthmias are the leading cause of death in the first few hours after a heart

attack. The goal of treatment is to decrease the demands of the heart so that it can

heal. Activitymay be restricted initally, then gradually increased. An intravenous

catheter will be inserted to administer emergency medications and fluids. Additional

invasive monitering devices may be used based on over all status. An urinary catheter

may be inserted to monitor fluid status. Oxygen is usuall given if blood oxygen levels

are normal. This makes the oxygen readily available to the tissues and the body o

reduce the workload of the heart. A diet may be or not be restricted according to

weight of the person. If a diet is resticted low salt intake, no caffine and low fat diet

are ofter issued. There are a few medications to help with a heart attack. Morphine is

the analgesic most often given for pain. Nitrates such as nitroglycerin are given for

pain to reduce the oxygen requirements of the heart. Beta - blockers (metoprolol and

atenolol) reduce the workload of the heart. Digitalis improves the heart’s pumping

action. Calcium channel blockers reduce oxygen requirements in the heart muscle.

Anti-arrhythmics and diuretics may also be perscribed. Some therapy may include

Thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) therapy. This is usually initiated within 6 hours of the

chest pain. Initial therapy consists IV infusion of thrombloytic medication

immedately followed by n IV infusion or heparin. Heparin therapy will last for 48 to

7 hours. Oral aspirin and warfarin may be prescribed to prevent further

developments of clots.Possible complications of thrombolytic include bleeding and

hemorrhage. Surgical interventions may be necessary. Emergency angioplasty may

be required to open blocked coronary arteries. Emergency coronary artery bypass

(CABG) may be required. The expected outcome varies with the location of the

damaged tissue. Damage to the electrical conduction system (yhe impulses that guide

heart contraction) worsens the outcome, Approximately 1/ cases are fatal. If the

victim is alive after hours of the attack the chance for survival is good, but may

include complications. Heart attacks are not necessarily disabling and the person

usually can gradually resume a normal lifestyle. There are some complications

though arrhythmias such as ventrical tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation , heart

blocks, congestive heart failure, extension of the amount of affected heart tissue, and

pericarditis. Control cardiac risk factor whenever possible. Control blood pressure

and total cholesterol levels, reduce or avoid smoking, modify diet (increase high

density lipoproteins and decrease low density lipoproteins) if necessary, conrtol

diabetes, and lose weight if obese. Follow an exercise program to improve

cardiovascular fitness.

Arteriosclerosis commonly called hardening of the arteries includeds a variety

of conditions in which artery walls thicken and lose elasticity. Heredity seems to play

a role in the development of the disease, and there is evidence that a high cholesterol

level in the blood can lead to this disease.

Hypertension is the force of the blood being pumped through the arteries

exerts pressure on the arterial walls. When this pressure is too high it is an unhealthy

pressure. If left untreated it overworks the heart and can lead to heart attack, storke,

kidney disease, of other ilnesses.

Rheumatic fever causes inflammation of the body tissues, joints ,and heart,

All heart tissues can be affected, but the heatr’s valves are most often damaged.

Antibiotics can lessen the adverse effects of rheumatic fever and prevent serious heart


Bacterial endocarditis is a bacterial infection of the inner lining of the heart

muscle. More than half of the incidents of bacterial endocarditis are a result of

rheumatic fever.

Congential heart disease is heart disease present at birth. It ranges from minor

heart murmurs that require no treatment to fatal structural defects.

In a normal healthy heart the muscle contract and relax in an orderly manner,

buth this rhythmic pulsing can be disturbed. Ventricular fibrillation rapid,

uncordinated contactions of the heart is on of the most serious disturbances of the

heart, this can lead to arrest or death. Other ryhthmic disorders include auricular

fibrillation and flutter, tachycardia, and bradycardia.

Congetive heart failure occurs when encouragement of the veins prevents the

heart muscle from being able to pump forcefully enough to deliver an adequate

supply of blood to the body. It can be caused by disease of either the heart muscle or

the valves.

The heart is the bodies way to survive. Without the heart in perfect working

conditon a person will always not function right. The heart needs plent of exercise to

stay fit so it will have a lesser chance of having a defect in life. Everyone must realize

that how important it is to have a very balanced diet and to follow routines to

exercise the heart daily. Routine checkups should be followed to see how everything

is going, as you get older you should go more frequently

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