12 votes
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What do blood pressure readings indicate?

I would like to add a brief answer in common language. The heart is a pump which pushes blood into the arteries in pulsatile manner (pushes out blood with each heart beat). As the blood is pushed in ...
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  • 950
12 votes

What do blood pressure readings indicate?

The two numbers indicate different amounts of pressure (measured in millimeters of mercury) in the arteries at different times in the cardiac cycle. The cardiac cycle just refers to the different ...
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11 votes
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Is it normal to feel your heart beat in your chest?

Is it normal for a person to at times feel their heart beat in their chest without actually placing their hand on their chest, while at other times not be able to...? Yes, this is normal. Normally, ...
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8 votes

Can stress increase blood pressure?

tl; dr - The answer is yes, clinically you can react to having your blood pressure (BP) taken by having an abnormally high reading. What you are describing is called "white coat syndrome" or "white ...
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8 votes
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Why does breathing stop during cardiac arrest?

During approximately 50% of cardiac arrests, the patient continues to breathe for a time. However, this breathing is known as agonal respiration and is essentially gasping for air. This gasping is ...
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8 votes

Why patient has to be awake during cardiac catheterization?

There are a couple reasons it's not preferred. The procedure is not extremely invasive or very painful and can usually be tolerated awake. Most procedures that CAN be tolerated awake ARE done awake. ...
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8 votes
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What is the difference between Eisenmenger syndrome and ventricular septal defect?

Ventricular septal defect A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a congenital defect of the central wall (septum) of the heart. This septum divides the right ventricle of the heart from the left ...
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7 votes

Pacemaker and MRI

Some new pacemakers are MRI compatible ([1]). Of those, some have an exclusion zone where the body may not be scanned. I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few years, all new pacemakers and ICDs will be ...
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7 votes
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Can Manual External Defibrillators "restart" a heart?

Your technical understanding is correct and television is fiction. In fact, watching shows involving CPR and defibrillation is a source of both amusement and frustration for most medical professionals ...
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7 votes
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Heart Attack Risk Score calculation

I think you are looking for the the risk score assessment tool based on the Framingham Heart Study. It predicts a person’s risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. It takes into account ...
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  • 905
7 votes

What is the difference between Eisenmenger syndrome and ventricular septal defect?

Eisenmenger syndrome is a clinical syndrome. A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is an anatomic lesion. They are related in that Eisenmenger syndrome can be caused by a VSD (among other things). VSD A ...
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7 votes
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Are defibrillator leads actually clashed against each other?

While it used to be done, in reality anymore it isn't done as it is possible to damage the equipment by rubbing, and the possibility exists of an accidental discharge between paddles which can be ...
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7 votes

How does a prosthetic heart valve "burst"?

There are a number of different heart valve prostheses, and the age and type of the valve in question would make answering the question somewhat easier and more specific. Prosthetic heart valves are ...
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6 votes
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Is lemon juice bad for heart failure?

The study you link explains that the problem with grapefruit juice is its tendency to cause inhibition of the CYP3A4 liver enzyme, which is needed for the metabolism of many medications - including ...
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6 votes
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What does "Townsend quintile" mean?

The "Townsend deprivation score" measures socio-economic status, and has five categories, hence you are being asked for your quintile. The scale is 1-5, and it incorporates the variables car ...
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What does "sinus rhythm otherwise normal ECG" mean?

Basically you have a normal ECG reading according to the machine. Sinus rhythm (as explained in the first section of this book chapter) is normal, meaning that the heart is depolarized by a wave ...
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6 votes

Are there a maximum number of times for surgical ablations on patients with Atrial Fibrillation?

In 2013, a systematic review and meta-analysis (see ref in source) examined the long term outcome of catheter ablation in patient with atrial fibrillation. They first looked at single procedure ...
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Why do we continue compressions after the first AED shock?

The only thing that keeps a patient in cardiac arrest alive is constant, high-quality chest compression. Cardioversion ("shocking") of a patient aims to return the heart to normal (sinus) rhythm in ...
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5 votes

What does "sinus rhythm otherwise normal ECG" mean?

Basically I agree with JohnP. The "otherwise normal ecg" is an unfortunate phrase. Sinus rhythm is the normal rhythm of the heart. So the machine should interpret as: Normal ECG. Rhythm:Sinus Heart ...
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Is having a congenitally fused heart valve a hereditary condition?

Short answer: Yes. Fused leaflets? The condition you’re referring to is known as Congenital bicuspid aortic valve (BAV). It is the most common congenital heart valve abnormality, present in 1-2% of ...
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5 votes

How much difference should there be between systolic and diastolic pressure?

The difference between systolic and diastolic pressures is known as the pulse pressure. (If this doesn't make sense, please see another answer of mine where I explained the meanings of the different ...
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Blood pressure in aorta vs. blood pressure in brachial artery

The mean pressure has to be lower peripherally for blood to flow in that direction. However, it is well known that there is an amplification of systolic blood pressure in the limbs due to reflection ...
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Medical puzzle: can blood flow in arteries be non-pulsatile?

No, not in a normal human (non surgical intervention) simply because of the mechanism of how the blood is pushed through the body. It isn't like a faucet, where you have constant pressure and ...
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Mechanical cardio resuscitation for asystole

"Giving" electrical current to the heart does not necessarily translate to mechanical contractions. The excitation-contraction coupling (as the sequence of electrical activation an muscle contraction ...
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5 votes

Does the digestive disorders affect the location of aorta beat around navel?

During my last course called "Physical Examination of the Abdomen" (at medical school), we learned to palpate the abdominal aorta, which can be easily palpated in +/- lean patients. This ...
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How can blood pressure be high but my pulse low?

If that is the accurate pressure, you really need to go to the emergency room! 188 is high but not immediately dangerous, but 134 for a diastolic is outrageous. At very least go to an urgent care or ...
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adequate exposure of the surgical field

It simply means visually exposing the tissues the surgeon needs to operate on. For example, if the surgeon needs to cut or suture inside one of the chambers and it's full of blood, they would be ...
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5 votes
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What's the difference between a fast heart rate during exercise, and a fast heart rate during an anxiety attack?

It is not a fast heart rate but the underlying mechanisms that can affect health. The mechanisms involved in exercise can be beneficial and those in anxiety harmful. EXERCISE Physiological responses ...
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Why is the crescendo-decrescendo systolic murmur best heard at the cardiac base?

It's not, unless you are using the term "base" to refer to the aortic root of the heart rather than the apex. A systolic "crescendo-decrescendo murmur" is the classic description for the murmur ...
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