The Heart is one of the most important organ in the body. It is part of the circulatory system. It pumps blood around you body via blood vessels such as arteries and veins. The blood carries oxygen around your body and delivers carbon dioxide to your heart which gives it to the lung to be exhaled,when you inhale oxygen enters your lungs and goes to your heart as oxygenated blood where it is pumped throughout the body.
The heart is composed of four chambers. The top two chambers are atriums and the bottom two are ventricles. The ventricles receive the blood.
These chambers are separated by valves which regulate the blood flow and make sure the blood is not mixed. The right side of the heart is where the the deoxygenated blood goes to. It passes to the right atrium then returns to the right ventricle where it goes to the lung to be exhaled and the inhaled oxygen goes to the left atrium and then to the left ventricle where it is pumped to the aorta and rest of the body and the cycle continues (Image 1).
The blood provides both oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body. Heart failure is when the heart can’t keep up with the demand of oxygen that your body requires. There are 2 types of heart failure (figure 2). The first one is diastolic heart failure. Diastolic heart failure is containment and filling failure.
It is when the body does not receive any blood because it is not filling up blood in the heart. This is because the muscles are larger. These mussel leave less space for blood because the muscles take more space.
The next type of heart failure is systolic heart failure. Systolic heart failure is when the heart doesn’t pump out the blood with enough force as the muscles don’t squeeze as hard as they normally do. Irregular heart beats can also cause heart failure and cardiac arrest. These heart failures can happen throughout the whole heart or only on the right side or only on the left side. There is also congestive heart failure which is when the blood flow slows down and the blood vessels get block.
This type of heart failure requires immediate medical attention. There are many warning signs and symptoms like shortness of breath due to lack of blood that carries oxygen, coughing due to fluid build up, Increased heart rate to make up for lack of blood, fatigue because the heart does not pump enough blood, nausea because the blood does not give enough blood to the digestive system and impaired thinking because the heart does not give enough blood for the brain. (figure 1, the circulatory system, the heart pumping blood to the rest of the boy and back. TesTeach by Vanda Mussi)(figure 2, Systolic and Diastolic heart failure. Diagnosis and Treatment of the Patient With Heart Failure by Scott R. Snyder) b) There are many current solutions to heart failure such as lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or limiting the intake of alcohol. There are also medications doctor use like Captopril.
Finally, there are devices that are implanted to help people avoid the heart failure entirely. Things such as pacemakers that regulate the heartbeat by generating electrical signals that stimulate the muscles that make your heart beat. There are also implantable cardioverter defibrillators. They are defibrillators that are implanted into the heart in case if there is a heart failure or cardiac arrest it does the exact same job as a defibrillator.
If it detects an irregular heartbeat it send a mild electrical signal to control the heartbeat and fix the irregular heart beat. This is painless for the patience. If that does not work and the heart rate still climbs to cardiac arrest level then the implantable cardioverter defibrillator gives a strong electrical signal to interrupt the cardiac arrest and get the heartbeat to regular level.
This can use this to regulate the heartbeat and if there is a cardiac arrest it can defibrillate it immediately. Implantable cardioverter defibrillator can be implanted into anyone, teens children adults. It is implanted into people who have a risk of Arrhythmia which is when there is an irregular beating of the heart.
To implant it surgeons give you medicine to fall asleep, antibiotics to stop infection and medicine to numb the area where the implantable cardioverter defibrillator is put. It is inserted to the left of the heart (figure 3) Then an x-ray scan is done to see where to put it and the surgeons perform the surgery. (figure 3, The location of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Washington Heart Rhythm Association LLC) c) An implantable cardioverter defibrillator has many advantages and is really effective. It can treat emergency heart failure and cardiac arrest in and instant and it continuously monitors your heartbeat.
It decreases the risk of cardiac arrest and it provides a peace of mind for the patient. It treat emergency heart failure by constantly monitoring the heart beat and if the heartbeat goes of rhythm then the implantable cardioverter defibrillator will immediately send a precise electrical signals to the heart that controls the heartbeat. “The Heart Logic Diagnostic provides physicians the ability to pivot from reactive heart failure treatment to proactive care with a goal of improving patient outcomes and reducing heart failure-related hospitalizations,” (Kenneth Stein, M.D,Boston Scientific Announces U.S. FDA Approval for MRI Labeling on High-Voltage Devices and U.S.
Launch of Resonate™ Devices with the HeartLogic™ Heart Failure Diagnostic). This quote means that implantable cardioverter defibrillator are a great device that helps patience. The battery life of a implantable cardioverter defibrillator can last up to 7 years thanks to a lithium ion battery and there are regular check ups every 3 to 6 months.
The problem with the implantable cardioverter defibrillator is that it is it is expensive ranging from USD$30,000 to USD$50,000 which is not viable option for many people. Another disadvantage is that if the implantable cardioverter defibrillator is not put in properly it can cause vein damage. The third risk is that there could be an infection in the area of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator. There could also be unnecessary electrical pulse because of a glitch in the software and there are the normal risks that come with surgery.
Overall a implantable cardioverter defibrillator is not yet feasible currently but in the near future it would be common and the prices decreased. Part 2d) There are many ethical concern about implanting implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Implantable medical devices have existed since 1957 with the first pacemaker.However only recently have there been ethical problems with implantable device such as the implantable cardioverter defibrillator. This is because doctors and patients have the right to terminate a implantable cardioverter defibrillator for any autonomy reasons. There are 2 philosophical ways to look at implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
One is that implantable cardioverter defibrillator are treatments that can help people but at the will of the patient the doctors can turn it off. Another point of view is that implantable cardioverter defibrillator are part of the body and as such should not be turned off. Government have compensated for this by creating a new category called integral devices that are essentially a halfway category.