Definition: Aortic aneurysm is an abnormal widening of the ascending, transverse, or descending part of the aorta. Aneurysm of the ascending aorta is the most common type and has the highest mortality.
Degenerative changes create a focal weakness in the muscular layer of the aorta, allowing the inner and outer layer to stretch outward. This outward bulge that is now created is the aneurysm. The pressure of the blood going through this aorta progressively weakens the vessel walls and enlarges the aneurysm.
Aneurysms are commonly the result from atherosclerosis, which is plaque or fatty material in the inner walls of the atery; this is because it weakens the aortic wall
Other causes can be age and family history, fungal infection of the aortic arch, congenital disorders, and hypertension
QUICK FACT: Ascending aortic aneurysm is usually seen in hypertensive men under the age of 60
Signs and symptoms:
The symptoms of an aortic aneurysm depends on they type of aneurysm you get but since ascending aortic aneurysm is most common we will focus on that.
The usual signs and symptoms are..
* Bradycardia (or low heart rate)
* Difference in blood pressure between the right and left arms * Jugular vein distention
Coronary Artery Disease
Definition: Coronary artery disease (CAD) results from the narrowing of the coronary arteries over time also because of athersclerosis. The primary effect of CAD is a diminished supply of oxygen and nutrients to myocardial tissue due to decreased blood flow
The fatty material progressively clogs the coronary arteries, reducing the volume of blood that can flow through them and if not taken cared of, eventually lead to myocardial ischemia (reduced blood supply to the heart).
The most common is of course, atherosclerosis. Other causes are dissecting aorta aneurysm, infectious vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels), Syphilis, and congenital abnormalities
Signs and Symptoms:
Some signs and symptoms include
* Angina (chest pain)- described as burning, squeezing, or tightness that radiates to the left arm, neck, jaw, or shoulder blade * Nausea and vomiting
* Diaphoresis (sweating)
* Fatigue and dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
QUICK FACT: Older adults with CAD may be asymptomatic because the sympathetic response to ischemia is impaired, but you will have dyspnea and fatigue which is a signal for ischemia
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Definition: Deep vein thrombosis is thrombosis (blood clot formation) in the deep veins in the legs.
A thrombus forms when a change in the epithelial lining causes platelets to group together and as a result, traps the red and white blood cells along with additional platelets. It forms more rapidly in areas where blood flow is slower because contact between platelets increases and thrombin (enzyme in the blood that causes clotting) accumulates.
Some of the causes include predisposing risk factors such as prolonged bed rest, surgery (especially of the hip or knee), childbirth, being over the age of 40, and obesity
Signs and Symptoms:
Symptoms vary on the sight of the infected vein but usual signs and symptoms include… * Pain or tenderness
* Edema (swelling) and cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin) of the affected leg * Redness and warmth over the affected area
* Surface veins more visible
Definition: Heart failure is more of a syndrome rather than a disease. It occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the metabolic needs of the body
Heart failure can be classified according to the side of the heart affected (ride or left-sided) or by the cardiac cycle involved (systolic or diastolic dysfunction).
All causes of heart failure eventually reduce cardiac output and trigger compensatory mechanisms that improve...