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HEART AND CIRCULATORY PROBLEMS Page 1

SUBJECT: HEART AND CIRCULATORY PROBLEMS





Heart + Blood vessels = Cardio-vascular system also known as Circulatory system.

Carry oxygen and food (carrying oxygen is more important since we cannot live without oxygen)
BLOOD
Blood is a living fluid / liquid and has the following functions:
Keep body temperature normal (37 degree C or 98.6 degree F)
Protects body against infection
Remove waste matters from the body (through urine, faeces, sweating and breathing out)

Note that dirty blood does not exist!

Blood consist of plasma which is composed of red cells, white cells and platelets.
- Red cells contains haemoglobin and carry oxygen throughout the body
- White cells is the defensive system; anti-corps
- Platelets help to coagulate blood, prevent loss of blood, stop penetration and 'cycatrise' wound

Haemophile - disease arising from lack of platelets
'La moelle osseuse' in bones recreate red & white cells which live up to 12 weeks
We have 5-6 litres or 10-11 pints of blood.
Lack of haemoglobin leads to anemia

The heart is a muscular organ and blood circulates in a clockwise direction.

The left side of the heart carries oxygenated blood i.e. pure and bright red blood
The right side of the heart carries deoxygenated blood i.e. impure blood which contains oxygen and carbon
dioxide

Arteries take blood from the L.H.S of the heart and distribute
Veins take blood from the body and bring in the R.H.S of the heart
Capillar are small 'vaisseau sanguin' which goes where the veins and arteries cannot reach. It contains both
pure and impure blood.

Bleeding of:
Arteries - goes out by spurts
Veines - a constant flow of blood (like opening a tap)
Capillar - blood oozes
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Rate of beating per minutes
PULSE
A pulse is a wave of pressure as blood is pumped along arteries

Age group
60 90 Adult
80 100 Child
100 - 120 Baby

Take the pulse for 5 seconds and check for RSR:

R - Rate of beating
S - Strength of breathing; weak or strong
R - Rhythm; regular or irregular (in cases of bleeding a lot or sickness)


Common pulse sites
Upper limb
Axillary pulse: located inferiorly of the lateral wall of the axilla
Brachial pulse: located on the inside of the upper arm near the elbow, frequently used in place of
carotid pulse in infants (brachial artery)
Radial pulse: located on the lateral of the wrist (radial artery). It can also be found in the
anatomical snuff box.
Ulnar pulse: located on the medial of the wrist (ulnar artery).

Lower limb
Femoral pulse: located in the inner thigh, at the mid-inguinal point, halfway between the pubic
symphysis and anterior superior iliac spine (femoral artery).
Popliteal pulse: Above the knee in the popliteal fossa, found by holding the bent knee. The patient
bends the knee at approximately 124, and the physician holds it in both hands to find the popliteal
artery in the pit behind the knee (Popliteal artery).
Dorsalis pedis pulse: located on top of the foot, immediately lateral to the extensor of hallucis
longus (dorsalis pedis artery).
Tibialis posterior pulse: located on the medial side of the ankle, 2 cm inferior and 2 cm posterior to
the medial malleolus (posterior tibial artery). It is easily palpable over Pimenta's Point.

Head/neck
Carotid pulse: located in the neck (carotid artery). The carotid artery should be palpated gently and
while the patient is sitting or lying down. Stimulating its baroreceptors with low palpitation can
provoke severe bradycardia or even stop the heart in some sensitive persons. Also, a person's two
carotid arteries should not be palpated at the same time. Doing so may limit the flow of blood to
the head, possibly leading to fainting or brain ischemia. It can be felt between the anterior border
of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, above the hyoid bone and lateral to the thyroid cartilage.
Facial pulse: located on the mandible (lower jawbone) on a line with the corners of the mouth
(facial artery).
Temporal pulse: located on the temple directly in front of the ear (superficial temporal artery).
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Torso
Apical pulse: located in the 4.5th or 5th left intercostal space, just outside the mid-clavicular line. In
contrast with other pulse sites, the apical pulse site is unilateral, and measured not under an artery,
but below the heart itself (more specifically, the apex of the heart).

Vital organs are

Kidney
Brain
Heart
Lungs
Liver

These vital organs should be constantly drenched with oxygenated blood and the most essential one is the
Brain.

Problems that may manifest when ageing

High blood pressure

may lead to stroke ('hemoragie cerebrale'), kidney failure (urine in blood) and
heart attack
Narrow arteries

favours formation of blood clot
Severe bleeding

as a result of lower blood pressure or lower body temperature
Severe pain in the chest
HEART ATTACK

Heart Attack occurs when blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly obstructed by a clot in one of the
coronary arteries.

Main risk: Heart may stop leading to death. (Compression should be given within 2-3 minutes)

RECOGNITION
Pain spreads to the jaw, one or both arms and at the back
Difficult breathing
Heavy sweating
Rapid and irregular beating
Person is pale, cold.
Blueness of lips & fingernails
May collapse, faint, dizziness or diarrhea
Air hunger

A diabetic person will not feel pain because diabetes negates the nervous system.

TREATMENT
Place casualty in a most comfortable position to ease the strain on the heart or
Place in a half sitting position with support at the back and under the knees
Loosen the clothes
If conscious give the casualty one full dose of aspirin (300 mg) to chew slowly
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If casualty has his own medicine such as tablet of Glycery/Trinitrate (TNT), help him/her take it.
Constant monitoring of Airway, Breathing and Circulation since you will not know when breathing
might stop)

Aspirin will thin the blood i.e. claircir le sang. Some people are allergic to aspirin.
TNT dilates the artery. This medecin is put under the tongue and is not a treatment. (only a reliever)
TNT is now available in spray; put in mouth and pump 3 to 4 times.

If unconscious, check breathing and circulation
If breathing present, place in recovery position
If breathing absent, be ready for CPR

Then bring to the hospital.

HOW TO AVOID HEART ATTACKS?
Avoid food that are rich in fat
Eat a balanced diet
Consume lots of vegetable and fruit
Exercise constantly for at least half an hour daily
Drink a lot of water
Avoid stress
Dont overdo things; workaholics
Do Yoga and meditation

Lack of food
FAINTING

Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness due to temporary reduction of blood supply to the brain.

CAUSES
Reaction to pain
Exhaustion
Emotional upset/stress
High Blood Pressure
Diabetes
Medical drugs
Excess of alcohol

RECOGNITION
Brief loss of consciousness
Pulse is slow (back to normal soon)
Person is pale, cold, sweating
Trembling of limbs

TREATMENT
Place casualty in a lying position
Loosen tight clothes
Open Airway and check breathing
If breathing present, place casualty in a recovery position
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Or keep legs raised and supported

When the fainted casualty regains conscious, give him/her sugar e.g. sugary water, fizzy drinks or sweet
biscuits.

Hypoglycemia Eat sugar and condition improves
Hyperglycemia Eat sugar and condition does not change

Then bring to the hospital.

Note: If unconscious, check breathing and circulation. Place in recovery position or be ready for CPR.