Hospital readmissions are one of the main issues that plague healthcare organizations and the medical community. This is why Readmissions Reduction Programs are rampant with each one offering a new fix and solution to either eliminate readmissions completely or significantly reduce it. As most people already know, one of the major causes of hospital readmissions is heart disease. Heart disease patients are more likely to be readmitted at a higher rate than patients suffering from other kinds of conditions.
Types of Heart Disease (Forms it takes )
Heart diseases come in different forms and they require different kinds of treatment. The heart is a vital organ and one of the most complicated. It is a specialty area in the medical field and requires years of study and practice to know how to treat heart conditions. The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
Heart disease is used to refer to a condition called Atherosclerosis that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup causes the arteries to be narrow thereby making it harder for blood to flow through them freely. This means that blood clots are more likely to form and this blood clots are what lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.
When blood cannot flow freely through the arteries leading to a blood clot in the arteries, it leads to a heart attack. The blood clots cause a blockage which means the flow of blood to some parts of the heart has stopped and so those parts begin to die. A lot of people survive their first heart attack and are treated effectively. However, people who have suffered a heart attack need to be more careful and make changes to their lives like taking blood thinners and other things their doctor advice. The medications and lifestyle changes that your doctor recommends may vary according to how badly your heart was damaged, and to what degree of heart disease caused the heart attack.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that feeds blood to the brain gets clogged with blood clot. When the supply of blood to the brain is cut off, the brain cells in the part of the brain begin to die (just like with a heart attack). This means the person will start to lose some functions that are controlled by that part of the brain such as walking or talking. There are different types of strokes. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts. This is most often caused by uncontrolled hypertension or high blood pressure. If too many brain cells die before a stroke is treated, it could lead to permanent loss of functions in those parts of the body. However, sometimes brain cells don’t die during the stroke — instead, the damage is temporary. Over time, as injured cells repair themselves, previously impaired function improves. Patients who suffer from a stroke should undergo stroke rehabilitation that would help them regain their functions that were affected during the stroke such as speech or walking.
Congestive heart failure which is also referred to as heart failure is used to refer to when the heart does not pump blood as well as it should. The heart does not stop beating but instead, it is beating below capacity and so the parts of the body that need blood supply are getting blood and oxygen but at low rates. When a heart failure occurs, it is important to follow doctors orders and take extra precaution after a heart failure occurs.
This is when the heart has an abnormal rhythm. The loss of rhythm could mean the heart is beating either too fast, too slow, or irregularly. The irregular heartbeats mean that your heart is not pumping blood as it should.
“Bradycardia, or a heart rate that’s too slow, is when the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia, or a heart rate that’s too fast, refers to a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.”
Heart Valve Problems
This refers to a situation where the valves which allow the flow of blood in the heart do not function properly. The valve could either not close up properly or bulge up or collapse. The valves play an important role in heart circulation so when they don’t work properly it could lead to serious problems.
Heart disease symptoms depend on what type of heart disease you have. It takes a health specialist to diagnose exactly what kind of heart problem a person has. Proper diagnosis means proper treatment. Some of the general symptoms of heart disease are :
- Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
- Fluttering in your chest
- Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath