Matters of the Heart

The heart is well associated with love and emotion and the term heart break is often thought about with the breakdown of relationships and grief.

The heart however is also an extremely important organ in the body and if it breaks in a physical sense it can have severe consequences.

The science

The heart is the muscle at the centre of your circulation system, pumping blood around your body as your heart beats. This blood sends oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body, and carries away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste products. It has four chambers (the upper chambers are the atria and the lower chambers are the ventricles) and four valves. These are the aortic and mitral valve on the left side and the pulmonary and tricuspid valve on the right side. The valves act like gates to keep the blood moving in the right direction.

What can go wrong?

Most people have heard of a heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) but there are actually many things that can go wrong with the heart. There can be problems with the structure, the cardiovascular system, the electrical system or the valves. The general term for diseases of the heart muscle is cardiomyopathy. Common problems are hypertension (high blood pressure), ischaemic heart disease which can include angina and heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms known as arrhythmias and pulmonary oedema (heart failure). There are of course other things that can go wrong and it can be quite complex.

When the heart breaks

If something is wrong with the heart, the most important thing is that it is diagnosed as quickly as possible so that it can treated in the most effective way. Sometimes the heart is broken to the extent that a transplant will be needed and again the earlier it is picked up, the better the chance there is of receiving a transplant. The branch of medicine that deals with the heart is known as cardiology.

Sometimes it is not picked up and sometimes it is treated incorrectly. It could be misdiagnosed, delayed, or treated incorrectly. An ECG (electrical tracing of the heart) is often used to detect heart problems but they can be misinterpreted.

The consequences of incorrect treatment for a heart condition can be severe. Symptoms of diseases of the heart are already difficult but if the treatment is not right it can lead to more extreme symptoms, brain injury and death.

If you have been a victim of cardiology mistreatment or misdiagnosis, it’s important to consider all the options available to you.

We have been able to assist many clients who have been affected by negligence in the treatment of heart conditions and our team are happy to discuss it with you and guide you through the process sensitively.