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Summary of Electrocardiogram

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Electrocardiogram
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG) is the recording of small electric waves being generated during heart activity.
  • Thus the electrical activity of heart starts at the top of the heart and spreads down.
  • In the heart there are specialized cells called pacemaker cells. These cells produce small electrical signals by changing their electrical charge from positive to negative and back.
  • For the cardiovascular system to work properly, the atria and ventricles must operate in proper time relationship.
  • It is necessary that to initiate the heart beat, the action potentials generated by the pacemakers propagate in all directions along the surface of atria.
  • There are two types of leads used for the ECG measurement.
  • The unipolar electrode have only one true pole(positive pole).The bipolar leads have one positive and one negative pole. In the standard ECG recording, there are five electrodes connected to the patient. Right Arm (RA), Left Arm (LA), Left Leg (LL), Right Leg (RL) and Chest(C).
  • The stretch between two limbs (arm or leg) is electrodes are called a lead.
  • Einthoven proved that at any instant of the cardiac cycle, the frontal plane representation of the electrical axis of the heart is a two dimensional vector. It is called Einthoven triangle.
  • A typical ECG representation of the normal cardiac cycle consists of a P-wave, a QRS complex and a T- wave.
  • Baseline is the horizontal segment of the waveform before the P-wave is called baseline or iso-potential line.
  • Simply the P- wave represents the depolarization of the atrial muscles.
  • The QRS complex is a recording of a single heart beat on the ECG that corresponds to the depolarization of both ventricles.
  • The T-wave represents the recovery or re-polarization of ventricles.
  • U- wave is the result of after potentials of the ventricular muscles.
  • In an ECG machine an appropriate lead pair can be selected by a lead selector switch which can be switched to different pairs according to the type of waveform needed.
  • The ECG signal is having very weak amplitude levels. So it is necessary that for proper analysis and plotting purpose, the waveform is to be amplified.
  • The PMMC (Permanent Magnet Moving Coil) galvanometer is a special type of device, where the deflection of the coil depends on the amplitude and the polarity of the signal applied to its input.
  • In most common ECG recording techniques, we use hot tip stylus for thermal writing.
  • Usually we use thermal recorders for the representation of ECG waveform.
  • Cardiac memory describes the phenomenon whereby the T-wave abnormalities that results from a change in the direction of cardiac activation as during ventricular pacing.

Author Bio: The Author of this article, Sreejith is writing articles on Electrocardiogram of the Heart and Trivandrum Portal

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3 Reasons You Should Pay Attention to Hospital Reviews

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Hospital Reviews

One indication that hospital reviews are important and people should pay attention to them is that doctors and healthcare professionals dislike them and argue against their merits. While there will be outlier information that is not representative of reality, review systems can generally provide insight into what others have thought about a product or service. This is the case with all types of assessments including eBay purchases, hotel stays, and restaurants. In the health profession, although reviews may not suggest how good a surgeon is at performing his task, they can indicate how much a hospital or medical professional cares about patient perception and how patients are treated in general. In a profession where customer service is an afterthought and doctors are perceived as cold and pretentious, reviews are important.

A changing culture

Some studies show that customer satisfaction surveys and hospital feedback correlates with measures of quality that experts use to determine the level of care of hospitals. Furthermore, as illustrated in a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, although most reviews are positive, the way that hospital staff, doctors, and nurses treat patients will affect the type of feedback received in services like Yelp and RateMDs.com. These ratings also correlate with other types of hospital assessments. Therefore, the culture in the medical profession and the healthcare industry is shifting to treat a patient like a paying customer, as is the case in every other industry. Failure to do so will have an impact on revenues. As the shift continues toward how a free market works, hospital reviews become evermore important.

Informed decision-making

Consumers like the ability to choose and enjoy having power over decisions. This is as true for purchasing a car as it is on deciding on a healthcare provider. In patients with Medicare, this is illustrated by the fact that patients tend to choose better-performing providers and hospitals even though their pool of options is smaller. This means that the issue is not quantity, but quality. In general, although reviews are not perfect, the system of qualifying hospitals provides choice and a way to make an informed decision. These give prospective patients the same power of choice that they enjoy when shopping online. However, the rating systems for medical professionals do create more depth in qualification standards, as many systems for hospitals include metrics on patient experience, process, outcomes, safety, and cost, among others.

Some studies demonstrate that when providing certain parameters for choosing a doctor, non-clinical rating systems were as important to the person deciding as clinical ratings provided by government. This is significant because commercial websites that share information on medical facilities are as influential as results from federally funded surveys and studies that determine the quality of care of institutions. The fact that over 80 percent of individuals looking for a physician check online reviews before making the decision speaks to its importance.

If too many people are complaining over the quality of care, even if the patients don’t agree on what constitutes the metric, this type of information should raise a red flag for those looking for recommendations. Ultimately, this concludes two critical points. The first is that hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals must understand and value the importance of patient relationships to gain the trust of the public. Second, patients need to value the new power and appreciate the importance of reading hospital reviews.

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3 Ways Drinking Too Much Can Ruin Your Life

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Drinking Too Much Can Ruin Your Life

It’s fine to have a few drinks every now and then. It’s even OK to go overboard on rare occasions. However, when it becomes a daily habit, all that drinking can become a big problem in your life. Like anything else, alcohol should be consumed in moderation to avoid serious consequences. These are just some of the ways that alcohol abuse can have a disastrous impact on your life. 

Health Risks

Alcohol abuse poses several health risks, and the most widely known is probably liver damage. This includes liver diseases such as steatosis (fatty liver) and cirrhosis. These conditions have life threatening consequences such as the buildup of fluid in the abdomen, internal bleeding, and high blood pressure. It isn’t just the liver that’s impacted by alcohol either.

Drinking heavily for extended periods can cause serious damage to the esophagus and stomach. Excessive drinking puts the heart in danger as well, and drinkers are frequently plagued by cardiomyopathy, which essentially causes the heart to droop and increases the odds of heart failure. The effects on the liver can also spread to the kidneys, and heavy drinking significantly increases one’s risk for kidney failure. And the pancreas is put at risk due to the high sugar content in many alcoholic drinks. Of course, since all of these organs are vital for keeping you alive, this should put a scare into any heavy drinker. If you know any facts about prostate cancer or other forms of cancer, you’ll know that heavy drinking increases the odds of developing these conditions as well.

It isn’t just your body that’s at risk with heavy drinking — your mind is also in danger. This is because alcohol alters your brain chemistry, and in the long run this alteration can lead to issues such as depression. Alcohol has a demonstrated link to suicide and self-harm, likely because of its tendency to cause people to behave compulsively. Anyone who drinks heavily has likely experienced a “blackout” or loss of memory, and over time memory problems can become permanent. Alcohol doesn’t necessarily cause mental illness, although those with a mental illness are often more likely to become problem drinkers. Any other conditions you have are likely aggravated by drinking as well, as alcohol disrupts sleep, which is essential to our mental health. 

Performance

As alcohol impairs judgment and coordination, it comes as no surprise that it negatively affects your performance at most tasks. Perhaps the most obvious impairment you’ll see is in your driving skills, and driving while intoxicated can quickly land you in a rough position where you need a DUI lawyer. Offences like these come with legal fees as well as the risk of losing your license. There are some less obvious consequences to problem drinking though.

One of these is alcohol’s tendency to mess with athletic performance. A hangover alone seriously impacts your physical performance in general. But while the “how” and “why” are not yet well understood, alcohol contributes to general muscle pain and loss. It also increases the body’s sensitivity to extreme temperatures, which is dangerous when performing strenuous actions, and it negatively affects your metabolism, which can impact recovery times. Even if you’re not an athlete, there are immediate physical repercussions which come from heavy drinking.

We already mentioned memory impairment as one of alcohol’s effects on cognitive performance, and it should come as no surprise that it’s not the only one. As alcohol also impairs judgment, it increases your likelihood of acting out in ways you normally wouldn’t. While sometimes you simply act foolish while drunk, alcohol can cause dangerous outbursts which lead to violence and accidents. In the case of long term heavy drinkers, some cognitive impairment is permanent. Common performance issues include a decrease in coordination, lack of ability to think clearly, and a diminished ability to learn new things. It’s even observed that heavy drinkers can have a diminished brain size.

With all of these adverse effects, alcohol abuse often keeps you away from your goals. Consequences are compounded if you get yourself into legal trouble, like with the possible DUI mentioned earlier. In the short term, you might face legal fees, safety courses, the suspension of your license, community service, or even jail time depending on the severity of the offense. Naturally, things get worse in the long term. For example, if you’re trying to get into an automotive & diesel technology college in NY, your DUI shows up in the background check they run for admissions, and at the very least it thwarts your chance of getting a scholarship. The same can be said about any potential future employer and most landlords, so you’ll find it harder to get the job or place you want. 

Relationships

Alcohol abuse doesn’t only affect you. Alcohol is a drug, and just like with any drug, abusing it affects those around you as well. At the very least, alcohol abuse may cause your friends to avoid you while drinking if your behavior is problematic. More drastic repercussions are familial problems. Research shows that one in four children in the US is brought up in a home with an alcohol problem. This is an alarming percentage considering how dire the situation for a child raised by an alcoholic can be, as kids can suffer from self-esteem issues and struggle with addiction themselves later in life.

These issues can cause feelings of resentment from all parties involved. The alcoholic may become resentful of family and friends who they perceive to be “prying” into their lives. Said friends or family members may feel resentful toward the alcoholic for their behavior when drinking or from believing the alcoholic isn’t trying hard enough to change. Across the board, alcohol abuse causes feelings of helplessness in all parties caught up in it, and for the alcoholic in particular, this feeling can lead to the belief that there’s no point in trying to change, which aggravates the problems.

Considering all of these life threatening problems caused by alcohol abuse, it may seem surprising that it’s still such a common problem. Unfortunately, alcohol is so ingrained into our society and is seen as such a staple of a good time that it’s honestly difficult to avoid. Factor in the adverse effect of withdrawal symptoms, and it’s pretty easy to see why people have difficulty quitting. These symptoms vary in intensity, and in the worst cases they can be life-threatening themselves.

If you know someone who is a problem drinker, all you can really do is be supportive of them getting help and try to refrain from judgment. If you find yourself suffering from some of these potentially life ruining symptoms, the best thing you can do for yourself is accept help, even if it needs to be as extreme as a hospitalized detox. It will be worth it to get your life back in order.

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Will Physical Therapy Combat Health Issues Like Fibromyalgia?

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Physical Therapy Combat

According to physical therapists, as well as the American Physical Therapy Association, the job of experts is to teach some self-management skills to people who battle with different conditions that cause pain, including fibromyalgia. Through pain management treatment Atlanta GA, like physical therapy, this helps to show people battling with fibromyalgia the best ways to relieve the symptoms of the pain they experience and the stiffness that tags along with it in their daily life.

Physical therapists teach people struggling with fibromyalgia the best techniques to build strength and improve all of their range of motion. They also show patients the best possible ways to get relief from problems like deep muscle pain. In addition, they also help people learn how to make decisions regarding daily activities that should prevent painful flare-ups.

Explaining What Physical Therapy Is

When you decide to consult a physical therapist such as one at Kroll Care, the aim of the therapy sessions is to focus on healing, treatment, and the prevention of various disabilities or injuries that cause pain, mobility issues, and affect overall health. Regular programs of physical therapy help patients to regain better control over their health condition like fibromyalgia and let them focus properly on their lifestyle changes, rather than focusing on health issues like fatigue, pain, and stiffness.

In addition, your therapist will guide you on proper posture, through efficient muscle function. This will result in you finally being able to move well and avoiding undue fatigue and pain. In addition, your therapist will also guide you with some stretching exercises, which should help you to improve your muscle flexibility. The different exercises that your therapist will show you will also help to reduce any form of tension in the muscles.

What are the Causes?

The main causes of fibromyalgia are actually unknown, but this is often because of how the nervous system actually processes the pain. The main triggers could be by arthritis, surgery, infection, emotional stress, trauma, or this may actually develop over time. People who have health conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erthematosis are more likely to develop conditions like fibromyalgia.

The common symptoms and signs:

Fibromyalgia is not actually just one condition; it’s a series of complex syndromes involving various signs as well as symptoms. If you have fibromyalgia, it’s likely that you experience:

  • A headache
  • Stiffness in the muscles, especially in early hours of the day
  • Pain widespread, often dull achiness on both sides of the body, below and above the waist
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory and thinking problems
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Cramps or pain in the pelvis or abdomen
  • Irritable bowel syndrome and bladder syndrome
  • Spots on your chest, head, neck, hips, elbows, knees, or shoulders that are tender to touch. These are often “tender points” and they may come and go or move around
  • Stress is also something that may worsen up your symptom

Fibromyalgia and Physical Therapy

Rest assured that a licensed physical therapist has a complete background in kinesiology and anatomy, which involves the study of body movement. If you experience health problems like fibromyalgia, your therapist’s job is to develop specific strengthening and stretching programs to help you meet your body needs. Certified physical therapists will work with different patients, from adults to infants. Their goal is to provide the best health services that will improve mobility, restore function, limit permanent disabilities physically, and relieve pain. When you work with physical therapists, they will come up with the best plans to restore your health and fitness.

How It Relieves Pain

Even though there’s no precise cure for conditions like fibromyalgia, the best solution to ease the symptoms of pain is to seek physical therapy. This treatment helps to reduce fatigue and stiffness. In addition to proper exercise, the experts use a diverse range of resources, from ice massage to heat packs for hydrotherapy. With such tools, they can help sufferers use their muscles, move their joints, be flexible, or stretch through a wide range of motion exercises.

A noticeable advantage or you can say the benefit of seeking the help of a specialist is that they will design the best fibromyalgia-related plan of treatment. The role of the therapist would be to document the gauges and the progress, regardless of whether you are practicing alignments, therapy habits, and movement patterns when you carrying on with homework at your home.

You should keep in mind that seeking pain management treatment Atlanta GA in the form of physical therapy is an ideal treatment for you, especially since you can use the exercises that you learn on your own to enhance your healing and care for the condition. Before your treatment, make sure that you consult your doctors and ask them about any doubts that you may be having in your mind.

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