Cardio Services Include:
What is 2D ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY:An echocardiography is an ultrasound examination of a patient's heart, which produces a two-dimensional picture. This information evaluates the condition of the patient's heart (the function of the heart muscle and valves of the heart). To perform the test, the patient lies down on a bed, conducting gel is applied to the chest and a probe is placed on the chest which is moved around to obtain pictures of the heart from different angles.
Exercise stress testing is used to assess a patient's response of their heart, lungs and muscles to exercise. The test obtains measurements related to the metabolic, cardiovascular and pulmonary adaptations of the patient from rest to maximum exercise and recovery. The exercise test is performed by a technologist and a physician experienced in exercise testing in a carefully controlled setting. The MDU can exercise patients by having them walk on a treadmill or pedal a bicycle. Every few minutes the elevation and/or speed of the treadmill is increased and pedal resistance is increased on the bike. Heart rate, electrocardiogram, collecting and analyzing expired air, oxygen saturation and blood pressure are monitored during cardiopulmonary stress testing. The Bruce Protocol (max study) or Naughton Protocol (submax study) are used for basic Cardiac Assessment with the heart rate, electrocardiogram and blood pressure being monitored. The test continues until the patient reaches his/her maximum exercise tolerance or pre-determined safety limits have been exceeded. What is ELECTROCARDIOGRAMS:An electrocardiogram records the electrical activity of a patient's heart. An E.C.G. may be performed to diagnose an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and/or detect abnormalities in a patient's heart rate or rhythm. The E.C.G. also provides information about problems with blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle. Electrodes are placed on the chest, arms and legs and are attached to a monitor. The ECG Technologist obtains the best reading possible and records a hard copy for the physician to interpret. The Technologists must have an in-depth knowledge of ECG intrpretation so that a physician can be notified immediately if there are any serious abnormalities or acute changes in the ECG tracing, (e.g. acute M.I. ischemia, etc.).
The Signal Averaged ECG - Signal averaging is a non-invasive test to detect the presence of fast moving low signals known as late potentials (LP). Late potentials are not attainable using standard ECG recording equipment or techniques. Specialized signal processing techniques are used to detect and quantify theses signals, which are 100 to 1000 times smaller than the standard ECG potentials.What is HOLTER MONITOR:A holter monitor is a device which continuously records a patient's heart rate and rhythm (electrocardiogram) over a 24 or 48-hour period while the patient goes about his/her usual daily activities. Electrodes are place on the patient's chest, which are attached to a small pocket-sized recorder. The patient keeps a diary of all his/her activities and any symptoms he/she is experiencing at the time. The holter monitor is removed and the technologist analyzes (scans) the results. The technologist identifies all arrhythmia and conduction changes as well as any ST-T wave changes. The results of the holter determine the relationship of the rhythm of the patient's heart and how the patient is feeling at that time. The holter can also be used to check if a pacemaker is functioning properly and also to determine the effectiveness of cardiac medications. For patients with very intermittent symptoms the following two devices are available. Both event and loop ECG data can be sent to receiving station by phone.
EVENT RECORDERS (no electrodes required)
Records one or two channels of ECG x 30 seconds after patient hits save button. (Excellent for patients who are able to use anytime night or day when intermittent symptom present).
Two disposable electrodes attach to chest. Data is recorded in a two-minute loop and event is saved for the previous two minutes. (Excellent for those patients whose symptoms are very brief or who loose consciousness, as once event marker pushed the previous 2 minutes are saved)What is AMBULATORY BLOOD PRESSURE MONITOR: It is a small machine, about the size of a portable radio. You wear it on a belt. The blood pressure cuff on the monitor can be worn under your clothes without anyone seeing it.
The small blood pressure cuff that is connected to the monitor will automatically check your blood pressure about every 30 minutes, even while you are sleeping. You also will be asked to keep a diary of your day's activities, so your doctor will know when you were active and when you were resting. Some people feel a little sore from the frequent pressure checks. Some people get a rash, but it usually goes away without treatment.
This machine lets your doctor find out what your blood pressure was every 15 to 30 minutes of a normal day. The information collected by this machine can help you and your doctor see if your blood pressure treatment is working.
Your doctor may want you to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for one or more of the following reasons:
If you have "borderline" high blood pressure
If you and your doctor can't keep your blood pressure under control
If you have blood pressure problems caused by your other medicines
If you are pregnant and have high blood pressure
If you have fainting spells