Cardiac ultrasounds have become a standard part of medical practice and have been in use for many decades. They have many uses and remain one of the most popular methods of testing in the healthcare industry.
Quite simply a cardiac ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to inspect the health of your heart. It captures the motion of the heart, as well as its shape and size. It allows medical professionals a view of each chamber of the heart, as well as sight of the valves and walls, blood vessels, and the pericardium.
There are also a variety of specialized ultrasounds in addition to the standard test. For example, it can be used to detect some lung diseases, is often used before cancer treatment can begin, and in cases of obesity. Additionally, the contract ultrasound sees the patient injected with a solution to get a better view of the heart.
There is also the stress ultrasound which will record the activity of the heart while being given a cardiac stress test. The Doppler ultrasound is used to assess blood flow and the trans-esophageal ultrasound involves the device being swallowed by the patient to get a specific view of the heart.
- Doppler Ultrasound
- This can be used to measure for variations in the blood flow in different areas of the heart. It can detect whether there is abnormal blood flow near a damaged valve and assess how well they are functioning.
- Stress Ultrasound
- This type of cardiac ultrasound is used to determine how a heart responds to stresses like exercise. It may include physical exercise and the ultrasound thereafter, or the doctor may give you a medication to speed up your heart.
- Trans-esophageal Ultrasound
- The patient swallows the ultrasound probe so that images can be captured from a different view, which offers a clearer image of what is going on. This is generally used when detailed pictures are required – so before a surgery, or to assess an infection.
- Portable Ultrasound Machine
- Interested in a smaller version of the larger ultrasound machines? A portable ultrasound machine is probably the solution. Obtain the same quality of images, and treat your patients quickly and efficiently.
They work in exactly the same way as standard larger ultrasound machines do, just at a reduced size.
What Are Cardiac Ultrasounds For?
There are a multitude of reasons why a doctor may want to refer a patient for a cardiac ultrasound.
- Cardiac ultrasounds are effective in determining whether there are abnormalities with the heart’s structure.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can evaluate heart murmurs.
- Cardiac ultrasounds help determine the extent of heart valve conditions thus determining a diagnosis.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can be used to measure the thickness and size of the chambers.
- Cardiac ultrasounds assess the motion of the heart following a heart attack this determining the extent of the damage.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can assess how each area of the heart is functioning for patients who have a chronic heart disease.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can determine whether fluid is collecting.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can identify tumors.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can monitor and assess defects.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can evaluate how a patient is responding to a procedure or treatment.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can evaluate how blood is flowing through the heart.
- Cardiac ultrasounds are used to determine the condition of a heart before a transplant.
- Cardiac ultrasounds assess heart muscle problems.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can be used to diagnose arrhythmia.
- Cardiac ultrasounds can also be used to assess BE or Bacterial Endocarditis, which is a valve infection. This can happen if bacteria from the intestines, skin, or mouth manages to enter the bloodstream, thus affecting the heart.
- Cardiac ultrasounds are used to rule out all of the above, too.
It is the most popular method of evaluating the heart and it has been for well over five decades.
Why is it so popular?
- There is no need to give the patient a sedative.
- In a standard cardiac ultrasound, there is no need to inject a dye or solution into the patient.
- There is no machine for the patient to enter; machines often induce claustrophobia in people who don’t normally experience such feelings.
- Cardiac ultrasounds are readily available across the majority of clinics and hospitals.
- They are the inexpensive testing type when compared to other methods, in fact, it’s cheaper than a visit to the dentist.
- It can be used for patients of all ages and is the accepted procedure for a variety of diagnosis.
- Cardiac ultrasounds don’t involve radiation exposure.
Why Are Cardiac Ultrasounds Important?
Approximately a million Americans experience a coronary attack every year and of those, almost half a million will die. Sadly, many of these deaths could have been prevented if the patients had been given a cardiac ultrasound.
Heart diseases are the number one cause of death for Americans, and it’s killing almost a million of us every year.
The third leading cause of death is stroke, which is also one of the leading causes of death globally, and strokes can stem from heart disease. While women are made to live in fear about breast cancer, they often don’t consider how major heart disease is and it is – because heart disease kills more women than the next six leading caused of death combined.
Additionally, around one in 150 babies are born with heart defects.
Cardiac ultrasounds can be used for the early detection of a variety of illnesses and allow medical professionals to keep track of your heart’s health following a major event or procedure. They have saved countless lives over the years and have treated millions.
While cardiac ultrasounds aren’t the right choice for every patient, for anyone who wants to protect the health of their patients – they are a must. This is especially true for anyone with an existing heart problem or those who fall into the high-risk categories. Additionally, when a patient is experiencing the typical symptoms of heart problems a cardiac ultrasound can be ordered quickly to determine what course of action to take.
If you’re looking to purchase a cardiac ultrasound machine for your clinic or hospital, talk to the experts at Ultrasource to find out everything you need to know.