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Abnormality of the Heart Known as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome Essay

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The human heart is a remarkable organ. It has several functions in order to help humans sustain life each and every day. One of its biggest responsibilities is to pump oxygen and nutrient rich blood to areas of the body to tolerate all of life’s activities. Autonomic functions such as breathing require the heart to function properly. Averaging the size of a human fist, it continuously pumps around five quarts of blood each minute, or roughly 2,000 gallons every single day. Every second of the day, one’s heart is constantly working and how hard it has to work can be a determining factor on one’s health. Though most humans are born with a normal functioning heart, there are many who are diagnosed with abnormalities at birth and even later on in their lives. One of these abnormalities is known as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, also known as WPW.
WPW is a congenital heart defect in which an extra circuit of nerves or wires exists in the heart creating a separate pathway for its electrical output. This short circuit triggers what is known as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. When the heartbeat travels from the top to the bottom of the heart, occasionally the extra nerves will pick up this heartbeat, resulting in a rapid heartbeat/palpitations along with the possibilities of becoming light headed or shortness of breath. This can be dangerous if it allows electrical impulses to travel to the sinus node or if they overlap. Generally these can cause symptoms from chest pains and dizziness all the way up to seizures and cardiac death in rare cases. It was in 1930 that Drs. Wolff, Parkinson and White, had put a new emphasis on cardiology at the time, and has peaked the interests ...


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...Holter Monitor. This is a portable ECG device that is typically worn on the belt loop or in form of a shoulder strap. It is worn for a 24-hour period, providing ones doctor with an extended analysis of ones heart pattern. If using this method, patients are asked to keep a diary and record any warning signs they may experience. Once diagnosed, a cardiologist may order an electrophysiological test to pinpoint the exact location of the extra pathway. More common than not, patients will be awake during the test but given a form of medicine to stay calm throughout this complicated procedure. “Thin, flexible tubes (catheters) tipped with electrodes are threaded through your blood vessels to various spots in your heart. Once in place, the electrodes can precisely map the spread of electrical impulses during each beat and identify an extra electrical pathway” (Allen, 2012).



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