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Heart Related Complications

Heart

Heart is an amazing muscular organ that drives our circulatory system. The main function of heart is to pump the blood throughout the body. Our circulatory system consists of a network of arteries, veins and capillaries. Our blood contains oxygen and nutrients which are required by other tissues and organ of our body to remain active and alive. Heart play important role to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and organ of our body and removes carbon dioxide and other wastes. So, you can assume how a healthy heart is important for a healthy life. Let’s know about the more about our heart.

Location & chambers or valves:

Heart is located between the lungs, in the middle compartment of our chest.  The heart is typically 12 cm in length, 8 cm wide and 6 cm in thickness. There are four chambers in heart:

  • Two upper atria(atrium), the receiving chambers (right and left)
  • Two lower ventricles, the discharging chambers (right and left)

There are four valves in heart which separates its chambers know as:

Heart Structure

  • Aortic valve
  • Tricuspid valve
  • Pulmonary valve
  • Mitral valve

How heart works

The heart is divided into two side one is right side with right atrium and ventricles and other is left side with left atrium and ventricles.  The blood gives oxygen, nutrients and other nourishment that is required by our body’s tissue or organ and this journey is performed by heart by pumping out mechanism.In figure A above, there are two vena cava (blue), are in right side known as superior vena cava and in bottom is inferior vena cava are the largest vein in our body.

What they do:

They just carry the poor oxygenated blood from body’s organ and tissue and back to the right atrium of our heart.(The superior vena cava carries the blood from upper part of our body such as head, arm, neck and chest while inferior van cava carries the blood from lower part of our body.)With the help of superior vena cava, poor oxygenated blood firstly comes into right atrium and then flows into right ventricles while inferior vena cava contains deoxygenated blood from the bottom or lower part of our body to direct right ventricles.Now, from the right ventricles, the blood pumped through the pulmonary arteries to our lungs.

After coming into lungs, blood flows through the tiny and thin blood vessels called capillaries.The blood carries oxygen their and transfers carbon dioxide to the lungs by a gas exchange process.The oxygen rich blood comes back to the heart by pulmonary vein (above figure A) to left atrium and continuing down through mitral valve, blood flows into left ventricles.From left ventricle some of blood remains in coronary arties as of heart is also an organ and required oxygen rich blood, while other pumps from left ventricle to aorta.The aorta which is present at the top in figure A, is main artery that carries oxygen rich blood to our body. From aorta, blood flows through small arteries and capillaries to reach all parts of our body.

Now from body, poor blood comes through the vena cava to heart and again process begins.Both aortic (aortic semilunar valve) valve and mitral (bicuspid valve) present left side of atrium and ventricles while tricuspid and pulmonary valve present right side of atrium and ventricles.

Complications

Heart is important part of our body because it supplies oxygen and nutrients to all parts of our body. If it doesn’t work properly, for sure many diseases will arise.

Angina:

Angina is a heart complication that is define as chest pain. This happens when flow of oxygen rich blood decrease and heart does not get enough blood to pump out properly and which cause chest pain and discomfort. Mostly, jaw, neck, shoulder, arm and back are affected. If it is not treated earlier, another complication will arise.

Myocardial infraction:

This is happened when plaque is formed on the wall of coronary arteries. After plaque formation, the level of blood flow decreases which is not suitable for heart to pump out properly. It is like angina, but the only difference is, angina does not damage heart muscle like myocardial infarction does. Both the angina and myocardial infraction is known as coronary artery disease. In myocardial if symptoms persist or does not cure, it will cause heart failure which is also another complication.

Stroke:

Stroke is a brain attack. This is happened when our brain does not get enough supply of blood which contain oxygen and nutrients and cells of brain (neurons) begins to die. Clot formation into the blood vessels of brain also cause stroke.

There are two types of stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke
  • Haemorrhagic stroke

Ischemic stroke:

Ischemic stroke occurs when the arteries of brain which carry blood become blocked or narrowed. Ischemic stroke includes two types of stroke:

  • Thrombotic stroke
  • Embolic stroke

Thrombotic stroke:

Thrombotic stroke means formation of thrombus (blood clot) into arteries of brain which carry blood to brain. This happens when plaque is formed on the wall of arteries and makes arteries narrower. The blood cells which flows into these arteries get together at one place and forms blood clots. These clots do not allow blood to pass through these arteries to brain which cause thrombotic stroke.

Embolic stroke:

Embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot and debris form another location of circulatory systems, usually the heart and large arteries of neck and chest. They travel through bloodstream from larger arteries to smaller arteries of brain and get lodge there, where do not allow blood to pass through to brain and cause embolic stroke.

embolic stroke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Haemorrhagic stroke:

This stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain get rupture or break which cause leakage or bleeding into the brain. The focus of treatment is on to control bleeding or reduce the pressure on brain’s blood vessels.

The cause can be high blood pressure, seizures and weak spot on blood vessels. There are two types of haemorrhagic stroke happens:

  • Intracerebral stroke
  • Subarachnoid stroke

Intracerebral stroke:

This happen when blood vessels burst inside or within the brain which cause bleeding inside the brain. Due to bleeding, brain’s cell begins to die and leads to trauma where person gets numbness, not able to speak or walk.

Subarachnoid haemorrhage:

This happens when blood vessels burst into the space between brain and tissue covering the brain or two membrane that surround the brain. This is sudden and may lead to permanent damage of brain or death if not treated immediately.

Heart attack:

Heart attack is occurred when coronary arteries get narrower and does not carry adequate blood to pump out. This is happened when our cholesterol level increases and form plaque on the wall of arteries. So that arteries are not capable to carry enough blood to heart. At the last, heart cells begin to die as they have lack of oxygen supply.

heart plaque

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulmonary embolism:

This is another complication that can turn deadly or leads to death. Pulmonary means our lungs and same complication as stroke. In stroke, the blood vessel get damage which supply the blood to brain and in pulmonary, blood vessel gets block or damage due to clot, which supply the blood to lungs. This condition leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain when breath and skin gets bluish as not get enough oxygen.

Peripheral artery disease:

This occurs when coronary artery gets narrower due to plaque formation, the flow of blood become reduced. So as a result, coronary arteries which supply the blood to legs and arms do not get enough blood flow and leads to symptom such as severe leg and arm pain when walking and doing hand works.

pulmonary embolism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Copyright: Google

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