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Features of Cardiology

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1. The area of medicine it studies[i]

Cardiology derived from Greek and Latin. "Kardia" in Greek means the "heart" and "logia" also from Greek stands for "logy" or "study". Branch of medicine dealing with diseases of the cardiovascular system (heart, aorta and smaller blood vessels), their diagnosis and treatment.

2. Title of consultants in this field

Cardiology department is run by Cardiologists which is divided into cardiac sections and various cardiac consultants including Heart surgeons, Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist, Cardiothoracic [surgical treatment of thorax (the chest) of the heart (heart disease) and lungs (lung disease)]. surgeons and Cardiovascular (diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels) Imaging Consultants.   

3. Services offered in the Cardiology department.

Cardiology department is divided into various other sub departments which fall under Cardiology category:

Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory[ii] (Cath Lab): there are many procedures carried out in the Cath Lab some of which may be; Coronary Catheterization, Coronary (relating to arteries surrounding and supplying the heart) Angioplasty (opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to heart muscle), Permanent and Temporary Pacemaker Implantations and many more.

Coronary Care Unit[iii] (CCU) care of patients with heart attacks, unstable angina, cardiac dysrhythmia (abnormality in heart rhythm) etc.

Chest Pain Assessment Unit[iv] is to assess and treat patients with life-threatening heart conditions, chest pain, heart attacks, shortness of breath, palpitations etc.

Cardiac Rehabilitation[v] is a program for people who are on their way of recovery from a heart attack, heart failure, heart valve surgery, etc. the program involves adopting heart-healthy lifestyle changes, exercise training, and help you return to an active life.

Cardiology Outpatients examines and treats patients without keeping overnight.

4. Surgical procedures and diagnostic tests used in the Cardiology department.[vi]

Coronary Angiogram (x-ray photo of blood and lymph vessels) is carried out in the Cath Lab it is an invasive imaging procedure, used to; evaluate the presence of disease in the coronary arteries, valves or aorta and heart muscle function. Also to determine the need for further treatment.

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM) Insertion is an invasive procedure used to stabilise the heart rhythm. An incision is made on the left side of the chest under the clavicle, following local anaesthetic, the leads and pacemaker are inserted.

Catheter Ablation invasive procedure used to treat an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Several catheters are inserted into the patient's groin, neck or arm and guided with the aid of x-ray equipment to the heart.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (high energy shock to bring back heart action) (ICD) it is an invasive procedure used to stabilise the heart rhythm. An incision is made on the left side of the chest after local anaesthetic and the ICD leads and device box are inserted. Using x-ray guidance, the leads are fixed into position.

Coronary Angioplasty used to widen narrowed coronary arteries. Opening up the arteries improves blood flow to the heart and may improve symptoms. A catheter with a small balloon at the tip is guided through a blood vessel into the heart artery. The balloon is inflated at the site of the narrowed artery, widening its diameter (balloon angioplasty).

5. Medical conditions encountered in the Cardiology department.[vii]

Most common heart conditions are:

  • Coronary thrombosis: a blood clot in the coronary artery.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia: Abnormal electrical activity in the heart, the heart beat may be too fast or too slow, it can be regular or irregular.
  • Cardiac failure: the heart impairs its ability to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the body's needs.
  • Palpitations: abnormal awareness of the beating of the heart; whether it is too slow, too fast, irregular or at its normal frequency.

6. Common abbreviations relating to Cardiology

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

CT

Computed tomography (X-Ray)

ECG

Electrocardiogram (or EKG)

VF

Ventricle failure

CHD

Coronary heart disease

7. Common blood tests used in diagnosing heart disease.

  • Cardiac biomarkers: these tests are used to diagnose a heart attack by determining if heart cells have been damaged.[viii]
  • Lipid blood tests: checks levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are associated with the risk of heart disease.[ix]

Question 1

Endo

Endoscopy

used to examine a person's digestive tract

Question 2

Norovirus

'winter vomiting bug' side effects; nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain

Question 3-5

Term

Explanation

Gingivitis

Inflammation of gums

Gingiv= gums

Itis= inflammation

Endocarditis

Infection of the inner lining of the heart

Endo= inner lining of

Card= the heart

It is= inflammation

Atherosclerosis

Narrowing and hardening of arteries

Athero= artery

Scler=hardening

Osis= condition of the

Question 6-8

Term

Explanation

Relates to

Cystitis

Inflammation of bladder

Urinary system

Uraemia

Blood in the urine

Urinary system

Enteritis

Inflammation of gastrointestinal tract

Digestive system

Question 9-11

Term

Department

Consultant

Disorder of hormones

Endocrinology

Endocrinologist

Disorders of the digestive system

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologist

Disorders of the skin

Dermatology

Dermatologist

Question 12-17

HCV

Hepatitis C virus

HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus

PUD

Peptic ulcer disease

IVF

In-vitro fertilisation

MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

C. Diff

Clostridium Difficile

Question 18-20

Term

Suffixes

Examples

Inflammation

Itis

Conjunctivitis

Cystitis

Bone

Osteo/Ortho

Osteoporosis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tumour

Oma

Malignant melanoma

Squamous cell carcinoma

References


[vii] An introductory to Anatomy & Physiology, 4th Edition, reprinted in November 2012, written by Louise Tucker. Chapter 5 The Cardiovascular System page. 85


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