Showing posts with label Cardiovascular care units provide care for patients with cardiac arrest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cardiovascular care units provide care for patients with cardiac arrest. Show all posts

Get to know how the Cardiovascular Care unit operates

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Get to know how the Cardiovascular Care unit operates


A cardiovascular care unit specializes to impart care to heart patients. It is a well known fact that a heart patient recovering from an open-heart surgery or even stent angioplasty, needs special care to return to his healthy condition.

Picture source: https://parisregionalmedical.com/departments/intensive-care-unit/

Why a Cardiovascular care unit is essential?

Cardiovascular diseases lead to more complex illnesses and are associated with the highest mortality rates in the world. Around 17.5 million fatalities were reported in 2016; the cause being cardiovascular diseases. It is therefore an alarming situation when this huge amount of the population suffers from a possibly fatal condition.

The first Cardiovascular care units were founded in the 1960s; to fulfill the needs of this high number of CVD patients. Thorough and organized care units were introduced that had a skilled staff. The staff comprises:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Perfusionists
  • Bio technologists
  • Technicians

This team is composed of a lengthy list of health care workers who function to maintain stability in a patient’s condition.
A myocardial infarction or heart attack is a routinely managed case. Other heart illnesses include cardiac arrhythmia, a heart block and defibrillation. All of these require proper monitoring.

Monitoring is performed not only by the health care staff, but by machines that continuously signify the current health status of the patient. The purpose of these machines, are mentioned below:

Electrocardiography: As the name suggests, the function of an electrocardiogram machine is to record the electric activity of the heart. This is shown on a computer generated graph.

Mechanical Ventilator: It helps to maintain oxygenation when the patient’s pulmonary system is compromised.

 Invasive procedures for diagnosis

Pulmonary artery catheters: This is done to evaluate:

  • The presence of sepsis,
  • To detect heart failure 
  • Look for the effects of certain drugs

A catheter is inserted through the femoral, brachial or jugular vein and, is passed until it reaches to the right side of the heart. It is then connected to the pulmonary artery.

Helium filled intra aortic Balloon pump: A balloon is inserted in the aorta (the artery that supplies blood from the heart to the body). The balloon is filled with helium and functions to increase the heart’s oxygen supplying capacity. It inflates and deflates in response to the rhythm of the heart.

Indications for the admission in Cardiovascular care unit.

Not all cardiovascular problems require a minute to minute monitoring. Patients who have been admitted after an unstable cardiac arrest or those with heart block, are usually shifted to the intensive care unit.

There is an increased risk of arrhythmias in patients with cardiac arrest. And hence, their severe condition demands constant monitoring to avoid any fatal outcome.

 Every health care worker is aware of the unexpected complications that usually arise subsequent to an open-heart surgery. Patients who have undergone an invasive surgery such as that of coronary artery bypass, are to be monitored closely after the operation. This close monitoring by the health staff is provided in the cardiovascular care unit.

Decompensated heart failure is another critical condition, that needs a thorough evaluation dispensed by the Cardiovascular care unit. Such patients have an unstable state that is prone to further deterioration, at any time. 

People with an immediate requirement for heart transplantation, have a dire need to be admitted to the care unit. Their condition might seem stable, but does require monitoring to maintain the stability until a donor is fetched.

Cardiovascular care units are one of the busiest hospital wards, due to the exponential rise in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases. A research was conducted in the US, to measure the number of patients suffering from Congestive Heart failure. According to this research, a total of 5  million Americans, including children and adults, undergo treatment for the condition quoted  above.

3 major reasons for the accelerated increase in Cardiovascular diseases

Poor diet: The drastic effects of consuming Low Density Lipids (LDL) has been advocated since the inception of medical care. But a larger population seems to ignore the advice and continues on ingesting food with LDL. This leads to the gradual deposition of fats in the coronary arteries, which thereby causes heart attack.

Sedentary Lifestyle: Physical activity helps in the revival of muscles and aids in better circulation of blood. The habit of physical exercise has greatly decreased with the advancement of technology.

Psychological stress: Prolonged stress can exhaust the energy stores of the body and can lead to an episode of cardiac arrest. Depression is becoming prevalent and so are cardiovascular diseases.

Interventions to treat cardiac problems have evolved over the years. The cost of the resources for these treatments, is exceptionally high. This is why prevention is still stressed upon than getting treatments. It is repeatedly advised to work towards changing lifestyle, that is both better for the heart and the mind.









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