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Heart As An Engine, Valves - The Mitral Valve
I DID not begin this book with a description of the heart, because I knew that if I did most people would lay it down, just as they do the old fashioned novel that starts with a description of all the scenery in the neighborhood. But there are some parts of the heart that are so important and interesting that with profit we can stop anywhere to describe them.
Heart As A Combustion Engine
In many ways the heart resembles an internal combustion engine, such as is used in automobiles. The analogy between the heart and such an engine is helpful in getting the true appreciation of what the heart really is, and leads to wise management.
Circulation Of The Blood
THERE is nothing that creates more surprise in the world's history than the late period at which the circulation of the blood was discovered. It is hard to conceive of a time when the fact that the blood surged back and forth from one part of the body to another was not noticed.
Why Does The Heart Beat?
The question why the heart beats seems to be such a simple one that the answer ought to be found by turning over the pages of any book on physiology. But many pages of the world's history have been written while men have been in search of the answer.
Blood Under Pressure
Another conception of the circulation that it is quite necessary to grasp is that the blood is under pressure, and that this pressure depends upon the contraction or firmness of the blood vessels in which it is contained.
Heart Massage
The question of massage will come up some time or other in the care of all invalids, but it is of particular importance that it be correctly applied in connection with heart disease. In general some form of manipulation, such as rubbing in connection with the daily bath, will naturally form part of the care of an invalid.
Pulse At The Wrist
I HAVE been told that in some parts of China the sick person goes to the doctor but does not see him personally on account of some custom or superstition, but thrusts his hand through a curtain and allows the doctor to feel his pulse.
Pulse In The Jugular Vein
The pulse in the jugular' vein is ordinarily, of course, observable only by the use of delicate instruments, but there are many exceptions. In persons sick with heart disease it is often possible to see the vein beating at the root of the neck.
Circulation In The Hands And Feet
CONSIDERABLE has been learned by observation of the circulation in the hands and feet of people with heart and circulatory trouble.
Control Of The Blood Flow Throughout The Body
There is a strong tendency to regard the circulation of the blood as a purely mechanical arrangement, as if the tubes that carried it were like the pipes in a house. As a matter of fact,the blood vessels are living things, capable of and accustomed to motion, and much like the heart.
Low Blood Pressure
There are two kinds of low blood pressure, and it is important to distinguish between them. The first kind comes from a number of different causes, usually in early life; and while it is disagreeable to the person who has it, in that it is accompanied by many abnormal sensations, it is not usually dangerous or, indeed, important.
High Blood Pressure
One of the reasons for writing a book that is to be read by people who are not doctors is that it may remove some of the fear that is suffered by those who have become the victims of certain conditions. A case in point is high blood pressure. By high blood pressure is meant a condition of the circulatory machine in which there is found a greater pressure of blood in the blood vessels than is natural.
Treatment Of High Blood Pressure
Much is said in these days about high and low blood pressure, and these terms are indeed a valuable addition to our means of describing diseases, as we will see later on in this chapter. A large number of men and women who have not studied medical science, and not a few, of those who have, think that blood pressure depends upon the hardening or softening of the arteries, in the sense that they are hardened or softened in their structure, becoming more like stone or more like jelly.
Thickening Of The Arteries - Organic Changes
A woman asked me one day, Has high blood pressure as yet resulted in organic change? I replied, I hope that it has, because I think your condition is one in which high blood pressure is sure to keep up. It is a compensatory provision of nature to make your kidney do its work.
What Is Meant By Hardening Of The Arteries
As a rule the scientific name of a thing is a better description of it than the popular one. The scientific name for hardening of the arteries is arteriosclerosis, which means the toughening of the fibres of which the blood vessels are made up. That implies that the disease is really a change in structure.
Causes And Symptoms Of Heart Disease
THERE is no doubt that heart disease can be caused by nervous disorders, because the relation between the heart and the nerves is close. Many people are killed by heart failure caused. by deep emotion. Joy as well as sorrow can kill. I saw a sad example of this in a mother who had worried for weeks about her boy, who was fighting in France.
Beliefs About The Heart That Should Be Corrected
There is a current belief that if the heart for any reason is stopt the person is apt to die unless something is done to make the heart beat again.
Shortness Of Breath
When a person moves about quickly the heart beats more rapidly and the breathing becomes quicker and deeper. Since this has happened to everybody, we do not think anything of it. We know that if several persons are suddenly called upon to run to the top of the house, some of them will arrive there without difficulty, others will arrive with rapid breathing and palpitating hearts.
Indigestion And The Heart
The close relationship between the heart and the stomach has naturally led to the impossibility of separating the two organs on the basis of their disorders. So that it happens that most sensory and motor disturbances of the heart first come under the care of the stomach specialist.
Rheumatism And The Heart
It is common knowledge that rheumatism is a cause of heart disease, but few people have any idea how large a number lose their health and their lives every year from this cause. Inflammatory rheumatism is due to infection, just like pneumonia or typhoid fever, and it is a disease that is hard to avoid, because so little is known of the germ that causes it.
Functional And Organic Heart Disease
When a person's heart does not act as it should, he is said to have functional heart disease; when the heart is inflamed or deformed, it is called organic heart disease. The heart may act poorly in several different ways. It may be irritable, so that it beats violently from slight causes ; or, it may be neither sluggish nor rapid, but the beats may be irregular, so that every little while a beat is missed; or there may be extra beats; or, a person may have functional heart disease and suffer great pain in the chest, in the arms, or the back.
Inflammation Of The Heart
The heart, like any other part of the body, is liable to inflammation, and the inflammation may be acute, coming on suddenly and with severity ; or it may be chronic, running a slow and tedious course. Acute inflammation of the heart occurs most often in inflammatory rheumatism, but occasionally happens in connection with other infectious diseases, such as pneumonia, scarlet fever, measles, and diphtheria.
The Teeth And Heart Disease
Some people will say that suppurating teeth are the cause of heart disease, and that heart disease can be cured by removing the teeth. The author can not subscribe to this radical view of the subject. There are many sources of infection beside the teeth, and the cure of heart disease must depend upon many elements beside that of infection.
The Tonsils And Heart Disease
Ever since the world began, at least as long as we have any record, people have tried to alter the human body in some way with the idea of increasing its efficiency or guarding it against certain dangers. The same thing is true with regard to animals.
Angina Pectoris
In some instances people with heart trouble suffer great pain in the chest, and this pain is so severe and peculiar that it has received the name of angina pectoris. Indeed, the pain is often the one sign of this disease because it occurs in persons who, if they did not have it, would seem to be perfectly healthy, as well as in people with well-marked heart disease.
Passage Of The Blood Through The Heart
I WONDER how many people there are who have never listened to the heart beat probably few. And yet I venture to say that few have known the significance of what they heard. In deed, there has always been some discussion among physicians as to what the sounds mean and where they come from.
Is The Blood Always Silent In Its Passage Through The Healthy Heart?
We must answer this question in the negative, and this brings up the whole matter of murmurs. I would advise any one who is interested in the subject of the heart to go to the butcher shop and get a sheep's heart and study it. A sheep's heart is much the same in size and shape as the human heart and reveals the beautiful arrangement of chambers and valves.
What The X-ray Shows About The Heart
By the use of the X-rays, if the machine is powerful enough and everything is properly arranged it is possible to look at the heart and see it beating. It requires a good deal of experience to interpret what one sees under these circumstances, and the first step is to know what to look for.
Malformation Of The Heart In Children
It may seem strange but it is nevertheless a fact that at birth a child's heart is always malformed in the sense that there are certain changes which must rapidly take place in its structure if the heart is to be perfect.
Irregular Heart Electrocardiography
THIS is the name given to the process by which a heart may be made to write its own autograph by recording the intrinsic electricity that is generated by the movement of the various parts. This process is the foundation of the modern treatment of heart disease.
Irregular Heart
To understand the irregular heart, it is necessary for us to have a clear idea of what the regular heart is like. The heart is a two cylinder pump, or rather a set of two cylinder pumps, which are bound together and work in unison. In this two-cylinder pump, one chamber receivesthe blood and passes it on to the other chamber, which pumps it through the body.
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