Procedure

Cardiac Assessment- Cardiology

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Doctors: Cardiologist

What is cardiac assessment?

The cardiac assessment is one of the main examinations done to evaluate the condition of the patient. It is very crucial as cardiac diseases are common reasons for hospitalization.

The procedure:

During cardiac assessment, various common symptoms are reviewed such as chest pain, palpitations, swelling, shortness of breath etc.

  • Chest pain: The doctor would ask the patient certain questions regarding the location of the pain, when it occurs, type, intensity, duration, with or without any exertion etc. The doctor would also ask about presence of any other symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, sweating, palpitations, anxiety etc.
  • Palpitations: This involves evaluation of any sensation of skipping, racing, fluttering, pounding or stopping of the heart.
  • Shortness of breath or dyspnea: The doctor will evaluate whether it occurs while lying down or occurs due to cough. Assessment also includes whether the shortness of breath is relieved by sitting up or sitting up or standing (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea).
  • Swelling or edema: This involves the assessment of intensity of swelling during morning or evening, and whether it improves due to elevation.
  • Evaluation of risk factors:  Doctor will ask patient’s family as well as medical history of heart diseases as well as any history of smoking, hypertension, alcohol or drug use, lipid and salt intake, obesity, type 2 diabetes etc. These risk factors are also for peripheral artery disease. Patient will be also evaluated for day to day activity such as walking, sitting, or prolonged standing. Additionally, any history of easy bruising, bleeding disorders, thrombophlebitis is also assessed. Patient would be also assessed regarding any sensation of pain in the legs during activity (intermittent claudication), cramping, numbness, tingling, or aching; swelling in calves, legs, or feet. Any changes in skin such as hair loss, redness, pallor, cold skin, veins visible, or lower leg ulceration are also assessed.

References:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26418104
  • https://www.jove.com/science-education/10071/cardiac-exam-i-inspection-and-palpation
About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.

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