Category: Cardiology

ECG Basics

The electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the most common, and important, investigations interpreted by doctors. In order to help the interpretation process, it is necessary to understand the physiology behind the ECG. In this article, we will explore the basics of ECG physiology, and build on this knowledge for interpretation in later articles. In a

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Palpitations

Palpitations can be described as the sensation of an abnormally received heartbeat. It can be rapid, irregular, forceful or just an unusual awareness. Palpitations are a common presentation with patients of all ages and demographics. Occasionally palpitations can be life-threatening, however, most palpitations are non-urgent, treatable conditions. The key to decision making is a thorough

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Fluid Balance

Almost every patient admitted to hospital receives IV fluids at some point in their journey. However, the body manages this, without the need for careful medical assessment and adjustment, as fluid balance is one of its core functions. Despite this, there are many situations where we need careful and controlled management. These include: Electrolyte disturbance

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Infective Endocarditis

Infective endocarditis (IE) is relatively rare in the UK. However, delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to serious complications, and be fatal. Thus, it is important to be aware of the condition and its management. This article is a practical guide aiming to help you manage IE patients on ward cover and on their

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Syncope

From the Greek: Syn: together & kopein: to cut – referring to a block in blood supply from the body to the brain, most often due a drop in systemic blood pressure. It is defined as (1) temporary and transient (2) a form of loss of consciousness…

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Hypertension in Hospital

As a junior doctor, you will often be called about patients with raised blood pressure (BP) in secondary care. This differs from chronic hypertension in primary care for which the treatment is summarised expertly by NICE. Here we look at the assessment and management of hypertension in acute care, with a focus on hypertensive emergencies

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Heart Failure

Heart Failure is not a diagnosis in itself, rather a collection of symptoms that require investigation to find the underlying cause. Heart failure syndrome is the term used to describe the collection of symptoms such as; breathlessness and fatigue, and signs such as fluid retention. As an FY1 you will likely encounter patients with heart

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Atrial Fibrillation

AF is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia you will encounter. In this article, we focus on the management of it. Identification of atrial fibrillation is usually fairly easy due to the irregularly irregular pattern (using the RR intervals), typically narrow QRS complexes & the lack of P waves. If you need a quick refresher

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Chest Pain

As a junior doctor, you will also often assess patients complaining of chest pain in the acute admissions setting and on the wards. Reviewing a patient with chest pain can be daunting whatever stage of training you are at. The seriousness of chest pain varies from less concerning pain (i.e musculoskeletal pain) to life-threatening events.

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Pulmonary Oedema

RCEM has published some clear and comprehensive information which is well worth a read. Below we include a very quick summary as a refresher. Causes Impaired cardiac function e.g., MI, arrhythmia and sepsis. Beware particularly cardiac patients who have recently been given IV fluids. Fluid overload- this can occur even in patients with a normal heart

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