Tag Archives: arrhythmia

Was Beethoven’s music literally heartfelt?

Music straight from the heart: Could a cardiac arrhythmia have influenced famous works by the musical great?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. —  Could it be that when Ludwig van Beethoven composed some of the greatest masterpieces of all time that he was quite literally following his heart? (more…)

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Fireworks Produce High Levels of Toxic Particles

Fireworks. Downtown Miami on July 4, 2007. Image credit: Marc Averette. Source: Wikipedia

Fireworks can be spectacular. However, the gas and smoke produced by the colorful explosions carry extremely high levels of toxic particles, according to a study by Audrey Smargiassi, a professor at the Université de Montreal Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

Smargiassi conducted one of the first studies examining the composition of the emitted gases and the concentration of the particles. In addition, her study is unique as she collected her data below the fireworks display where spectators usually stand. Previous studies usually collected data from nearby rooftops.

The study was conducted in 2007 during nine separate shows presented at La Ronde amusement park where 5.7 million spectators attend an international fireworks competition every summer. (more…)

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UCLA Uses Hybrid, Precision Heart Procedures to Help Stop Deadly Arrhythmias

Hybrid Cardiac Procedure. Schematic of the heart showing the minimally-invasive approaches to allow access to the surface of the heart (the blue and red areas) during this hybrid cardiac procedure. Image credit: University of California

New techniques now being used at UCLA allow doctors to more precisely target certain areas of the heart to stop ventricular arrhythmias — serious abnormal rhythms in the heart’s lower chambers — in high-risk patients.

 

Generally, arrhythmias can be controlled by medications, and sometimes defibrillators. But a potentially life-threatening, recurrent arrhythmia known as a ventricular tachycardia, which originates in one of the heart’s two ventricles, can produce a fast heart beat that requires other interventions, such as catheter ablation, in which the precise focus area of the arrhythmia must be controlled. 

Cardiologists will often use catheter ablation once medications and other therapies have failed. The procedure involves the insertion of a tiny, metal-tipped catheter through a vein in the groin or neck to reach the inside of the heart. Prior to the procedure, electrical tests are conducted on the heart to identify and map the exact site of the arrhythmia’s origin.  (more…)

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