CARDIOVASCULAR EMERGENCIES AND RED FLAGS PART 1 of 3 – 1 CEU credit
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- HOW TO READ AN EKG –in three slides or less.
- ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
- ATRIAL FLUTTER
- MULTIFOCAL ATRIAL TACHYCARDIA
- VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA
- TORSADES DE POINTES-DEADLY VARIANT OF VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA
- VENTRICULAR FIBRILLATION
- PALPITATIONS (PREMATURE VENTRICULAR CONTRACTION, PVC)
- ATHEROGENESIS THE ROOT CAUSES OF HEART DISEASE PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND NATURAL HISTORY
- MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION
We cover a lot of ground in this section about cardiovascular disease and emergencies, but its pretty cool stuff (at the risk of sounding way too geeky). First we start with the slow or brady arrhythmias. In that section I’ll show you how to read an EKG, followed by the fast or tachy arrhythmias. The most interesting part about this is when the heart is beating either too fast or too slow the patient will experience nearly the same symptoms.
I will go over in detail what those signs and symptoms are so that you will be in a perfect position to correctly make the assessment and do the appropriate thing. It starts with getting your vitals, by checking the pulse, from there I’ll walk you through. It helps that I have fellowship training in cardiothoracic anesthesia and that critical care was one of my favorite specialties. Because of that I have developed a very simple way of assessing the most complicated of all systems-the heart. It’s actually much easier than you think. Most of these dysrhythmias (the most correct term for them) can only be diagnosed with an EKG so there is no concern on your part to figure anything out, only to get
the person to the proper facility if needed.
The deadly ones such as V-Tach and Torsades along with V-fib are seldom encountered outside a critical care facility or during an extreme emergency such as electrocution, severe drug reaction, or car accident. That’s the good news. However, once again I will use the criteria set up earlier to rule in or out a red flag. We can reduce these criteria down to about three things so even though the heart is scary and complex the red flags are actually much, much easier to discern.
For completeness I list some of the drugs often used to treat these problems. I also made sure that you get to evaluate Heart Palpitations because everyone talks about them in TCM but what are they really? You’ll find out and when to refer a patient as well.
Lastly we will cover the true mechanism of heart disease which isn’t eating saturated fat and cholesterol and then a brief description of a heart attack.