The simple stethoscope test that spots a silent killer

24781

Sumary of The simple stethoscope test that spots a silent killer:

  • When Labour MP Stephen McCabe was told he had a heart murmur that needed attention ‘very urgently’, his initial response was to dismiss the advice..
  • ‘By then, I’d realised this was pretty serious, as the cardiologist said I was at risk of a heart attack or worse,’ he says..
  • When Labour MP Stephen McCabe was told he had a heart murmur that needed attention ‘very urgently’, his initial response was to dismiss the advice The problem was his mitral valve, which lies between the heart upper left chamber (left atrium) and the lower left chamber (left ventricle)..
  • The ‘flaps’ that make up the valve were not closing properly, so blood was leaking back to the left atrium — a condition known as mitral valve regurgitation..
  • Left untreated, this can cause heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, fluid in the lungs and heart failure, where the heart cannot pump enough blood around the body..
  • ‘It is a slow but progressive decline, with increasing hospitalisation, usually due to heart failure,’ explains Professor Richard Anderson, a consultant interventional cardiologist at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff..
  • Heart valve disease can be diagnosed with a stethoscope by the GP — yet, astonishingly, these checks are not routinely performed, according to the charity Heart Valve Voice Thankfully, Stephen was diagnosed early enough to have an operation to repair his defective valve..
  • In fact, that medical probably saved his life because, like many people with heart valve disease, he didn’t have any obvious symptoms (common ones include fatigue, breathlessness, chest pains and abnormal heart beats)..
  • There are four valves in the heart, but it the two on the left side — the mitral and aortic valves — that are most commonly damaged or affected by disease..
  • The most common type of heart valve disease is aortic stenosis, when the aortic valve separating the lower heart chamber (ventricle) from the aorta (the body main artery that delivers blood to the body) becomes calcified or hardened with age..
  • ‘Breathlessness gets worse, fluid collects on the lungs and death follows with the patient almost drowning in this fluid,’ explains Professor Anderson..
  • Many patients die while waiting for surgery.’ Around 1.5 million Britons over 65 have some form of heart valve disease..
  • Most deaths occur either because patients don’t have symptoms or because they attribute them to ‘getting older’ Heart valve disease can be diagnosed with a stethoscope by the GP — yet, astonishingly, these checks are not routinely performed, according to the charity Heart Valve Voice, which, backed by Stephen McCabe, is now calling for annual stethoscope tests for all over-65s..
  • Once detected, treatment may involve blood pressure drugs to open the arteries, blood thinners to reduce the chance of blood clots and beta blockers to slow the heart down..
  • There are different types of repair operations, such as tightening the flaps to reduce leakage, replacing the cords that support the valve, or removing excess tissue so that the valve can close tightly..
  • For example, the Mitraclip, which was approved by NICE in 2019, repairs the valve using a tube threaded through the groin..
  • The paperclip-like device holds the defective valve flaps together, helping to restore normal blood flow through the heart..
  • Stephen, who represents Selly Oak in Birmingham, believes his lifestyle may have contributed to his heart valve condition..
  • Further tests at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, including an ultrasound of the heart, revealed his heart was working harder than it should…

Want to know more click here go to source.

From -
Close
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close