Tag archives for: heart,

Doctor drawing a red heart and EKG rhythm

Heeding the signs of heart disease

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

Heart disease kills one out of every four people who die in the United States each year. Many of those deaths can be prevented, and during American Heart Month — observed throughout February each year — University Health System will be working with its partners to spread the word about ways to lower your risk. Dr. Hinan Ahmed, medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at University Health System, said heart catheterization is useful for learning more when a patient has had abnormal results on a stress test. It involves threading a tiny tube with a camera through an artery in the wrist or groin …Read More >

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An older woman with red hair sits on her couch as she reads a newspaper

Health in the headlines

Categories: News

Need to catch up on the latest health news? We’ve gathered the highlights for you. Here’s a reason to celebrate: chocolate may be good for the heart. Here’s a reason not to celebrate too much: A new study says just one alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of breast cancer. Traveling abroad this summer? Here are some tips for a safe and healthy journey.  And if you’re trying to watch your waistline, you might want to take the “calories burned” reading on your fitness tracker with a grain of salt. Why chocolate may be good for the heart — …Read More >

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A male doctor smiles professionally with the medical facility in the background

Pinpointing the source of heart disease

Categories: Heart Health  /  News

When Antonio Vargas became too weak to do the things he enjoyed, his daughter Mimi Cruz brought him in for care. Doctors at the Heart and Vascular Institute at University Health System threaded a catheter to the vessels leading to his heart and found blockage in multiple vessels. They treated him with medication until he became strong enough to undergo a second procedure to open a vessel and implant a stent. Cardiac catheterization is an important diagnostic tool in determining heart disease. Mr. Vargas’s story, one in a series of stories that make up the Real Men Wear Gowns campaign, …Read More >

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Two doctors reference something as they operate on a patient in an operating room

Fixing a faulty valve

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  rehabilitation  /  Surgery

Healthy hearts need healthy valves. But when those valves start to malfunction, it can cause symptoms that may not lead people to think of the correct cause. “People tend to think that this is old age and they don’t get it checked out,” said Dr. Edward Sako, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UT Health San Antonio who practices at University Health System. “The patient may feel fine.” Dr. Sako said people face two common problems with their heart valves. One is stenosis, or narrowing, where the valve doesn’t open well. The other is regurgitation, where it doesn’t close well. It …Read More >

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A hand in a white gloves holds up a medical instrument

Tiny heart pump keeps transplant patient alive

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Technology  /  Transplants

Mark Kennedy had finally gotten the call from University Transplant Center that a new liver was available. The 59-year-old and his wife made the hourlong drive from their home in Austin to University Hospital for the transplant. The transplant appeared to be going well. But as the surgeons were nearly finished, Mr. Kennedy’s condition began to change. Perhaps from the stress of the surgery, he went into cardiac arrest and showed clear signs of a major heart attack. He went into shock. Complicating the treatment options was the fact he was bleeding, and his new liver had not yet taken …Read More >

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Four doctors race a man on a gurney to the nearest operating room for an emergency

When the heart stops

Categories: Emergency care  /  Heart Health  /  News

If someone suffers cardiac arrest in their living room or on the street, should they be rushed to the hospital? For most people, the answer is a resounding “yes.” But within medical circles, it’s not so clear. Some 90 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests prove fatal. And some argue that given the lack of effective treatment — and because defibrillators are no longer confined to hospitals — a well-trained ambulance crew can do as much for patients as a hospital. Dr. Bruce Adams, chairman of emergency medicine at the UT Health Science Center and University Hospital, thinks the hospital is …Read More >

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Four doctors race a man on a gurney to the nearest operating room for an emergency

For the sickest patients, chances of dying lowest at the busiest ERs

Categories: Emergency care  /  News  /  Research

The conventional wisdom holds that if you’re suffering from a medical emergency, you should get to the closest hospital as quickly as possible. But a new study is raising questions about that wisdom. An analysis of 17.5 million very sick patients admitted to hospitals across the country found that those who went to the busiest emergency departments had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from eight high-risk conditions, compared to those who went to the least busy. For some serious, life-threatening conditions, the differences were even greater. Sepsis patients had a 26 percent lower death rate at the busiest …Read More >

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A doctor pushes the medicine in a syringe into a small tube

Fine-tuning a treatment for hearts

Categories: Emergency care  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Research

Sudden cardiac arrest is unfortunately common and often deadly — bringing many people to hospital emergency rooms. Among the challenges of treating them is the fact that the malfunctioning heart can’t properly send enough blood to the brain and other organs and tissues throughout the body, causing further damage. Doctors have long used epinephrine, which causes blood vessels to constrict and squeeze more blood through the circulatory system to where it’s needed. One problem is that many cardiac arrest patients suffer a build-up of acid in their bodies when their hearts aren’t functioning properly over time — a condition called …Read More >

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A mother smiles as she holds her newborn baby girl who is smiling back at her

Simple test saving newborns

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  Pregnancy

A beautiful newborn baby — by all appearances perfectly healthy — goes home from the hospital in the care of delighted parents. What they don’t know is that within that tiny, beating heart lies an undiagnosed defect that can surface tragically, days or weeks later, without warning. Beginning Sept. 1, hospitals were required to begin screening newborns for these life-threatening heart problems before they’re discharged, so they can be treated in time. A new state law, H.B. 740, adds the screening to the list of conditions babies must be tested for. “These cases are heartbreaking because the babies often leave …Read More >

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