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Cardiac - Regional Cardiac Care Program
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is a procedure that can correct heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). Cardiac ablation works by scarring or destroying tissue in your heart that triggers or sustains an abnormal heart rhythm. In some cases, cardiac ablation prevents abnormal electrical signals from entering your heart and, thus, stops the arrhythmia. Cardiac ablation usually uses long, flexible tubes (catheters) inserted through a vein or artery in your groin and threaded to your heart to deliver energy in the form of heat or extreme cold to modify the tissues in your heart that cause an arrhythmia.

Ace Inhibitor

Medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

Acute Coronary Syndrome

an umbrella term for situations where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. It includes heart attacks and unstable angina.


Automatic external defibrillator (AED) a portable defibrillator designed to be automated such that it can be used by persons without substantial medical training who are responding to a cardiac emergency.

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating. Often it starts as brief periods of abnormal beating which become longer and possibly constant over time.


An aneurysm is an abnormal widening of a blood vessel. Aneurysms can sometimes burst, causing a serious medical emergency. If not caught in time, they can be life-threatening.

Angina (Angina Pectoris)

Pain or discomfort which occurs when the heart does not receive adequate blood flow – and thus oxygen -- to the heart muscle. Angina may be experienced in the chest, neck, jaw, arms, shoulder or back. No permanent damage is done to the heart.


A procedure performed by interventional cardiologists to open an obstruction or narrowing of a blood vessel, using a balloon that is inserted with a catheter. Also known as a Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA).


A drug that slows or prevents the blood from clotting.


The main artery leaving the heart.

Aortic Insufficiency

An incomplete closing of the aortic valve, causing blood to flow backward into the left ventricle.

Aortic Stenosis

A narrowing of the aortic valve, causing the left ventricle to work harder, but limiting the amount of blood that can be pumped forward into the aorta.

Aortic Valve

The valve that sits at the junction of the left ventricle and the aorta. When the valve is open it allows blood to flow from the left ventricle to the aorta, and when closed, prevents any backward flow.


An abnormal rhythm of the heart, including rate, regularity, or site of impulse origin. Types of arrhythmias include tachycardias (fast heart rhythms) and bradycardias (slow heart rhythms).

Arterial Line

A small plastic tube that is placed in an artery in your wrist in order to monitor arterial blood pressure. Blood samples can also be taken through this tube.


Vessels that transport oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body.


Arteriosclerosis is a general term for a condition that is characterized by the thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity of the walls of the arteries.


A disease process in which fatty substances (plaque), such as cholesterol, are deposited on the inner lining of blood vessels.

Atrial Fibrillation

A rapid and irregular rhythm that begins in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria). As a result, the lower chambers also beat irregularly. This condition requires diagnosis and treatment.


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Beta Blocker

Medication used to treat high blood pressure, angina, myocardial infarction and other heart conditions such as heart failure, by controlling the heart rate.


Body mass index (BMI) - A number that indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease from a person being overweight. BMI is calculated using a formula of weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (BMI =W [kg]/H [m2])


An abnormally slow heart rhythm.

Bypass Graft (Vein, Mammary Artery, Aorta-Coronary Bypass Graft)

A surgical procedure where a piece of vein, taken from the leg, or a piece or artery, taken from the inside of the chest wall, replaces a diseased coronary artery. The graft helps get more blood to the heart muscle.


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Coronary artery bypass surgery, also known as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG, pronounced "cabbage") surgery, and colloquially heart bypass or bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure to restore normal blood flow to an obstructed coronary artery.

Calcium Channel Blocker

A drug used to treat high blood pressure and angina. It decreases the workload of the heart by blocking the influx of calcium ions into the smooth muscle cells, which reduces the oxygen demand on the heart.


Relating to the heart.

Cardiac Angiogram or Catheterization

An X-ray procedure which involves the injection of dye into the heart chambers and into the coronary arteries for diagnostic purposes. An X-ray reveals the exact site where the artery is narrowed or blocked and measures how well the heart is pumping.

Cardiogenic shock

is a medical condition resulting from an inadequate circulation of blood due to primary failure of the ventricles of the heart to function effectively


Any structural or functional disease of heart muscle that is marked especially by enlargement of the heart, by hypertrophy of cardiac muscle, or by rigidity and loss of flexibility of the heart walls and that may be idiopathic or attributable to a specific cause (such as heart valve disease, untreated high blood pressure, or viral infection)

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include
· coronary heart disease: disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle
· cerebrovascular disease: disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
· peripheral arterial disease: disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs
· rheumatic heart disease: damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria
· congenital heart disease: malformations of heart structure existing at birth
· deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs
· Fasting blood sugar and HGA1c

Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a medically supervised program that helps improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems. Rehab programs include exercise training, education on heart healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.


refers to the process of restoring the heart's normal rhythm by applying a controlled electric shock to the exterior of the chest.

Cardioverter Defibrillator

an implantable device that detects sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation and terminates it by a shock or shocks delivered directly to the atrium.


A hollow, flexible tube used to withdraw or inject fluid into the body.

Chest Tube

A tube or tubes in the chest which drain fluids from the area of the operation. The chest tubes remain in place for approximately two days.


A waxy substance that circulates in the blood and plays a role in the formation of blockages. Cholesterol originates in foods that are rich in animal fats.

Congestive Heart Failure

The condition which results when the heart is unable to pump adequately. Congestive heart failure (CHF) can result from coronary heart disease and other causes..

Coronary Arteries

Special arteries which supply the heart muscle with blood.

Coronary Artery Disease

A condition in which the arteries supplying the heart muscle become blocked. The cause of this is unknown, but some known risk factors include: include: hypertension, family history, smoking, diabetes, obesity, diet and stress.

CPET stress test

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), also known as cardiopulmonary exercise stress testing, is a non-invasive tool that provides a comprehensive evaluation of exercise responses involving the cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematopoietic, neuropsychological, and musculoskeletal systems.


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A disease that negatively affects the metabolism of glucose (sugar) and cause changes in blood vessels that, untreated, may lead to circulation issues, development of coronary artery disease, blindness and other health issues.


The gradual opening of the narrowed coronary artery by cracking and compressing the narrowing or obstructing plaque.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.


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An ultrasound of the heart.

Electrocardiogram (EKG/ ECG)

A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. The EKG recording can be used to detect many abnormalities in the heart.


An electrophysiology study (EPS) of the heart is a test performed to analyze the electrical activity of the heart. The test uses cardiac catheters and sophisticated computers to generate electrocardiogram (EKG) tracings and electrical measurements with exquisite precision from within the heart chambers.

Endotrachael Tube (ETT)

Breathing tube placed in the trachea during surgery or respiratory emergencies to assist with breathing. Removed when the patient is able to breathe on his/her own.


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A rapid and irregular heart rhythm caused by abnormal electrical impulses. This is a potentially serious condition.

Fibrillation, Atrial

See Atrial Fibrillation.


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Heart Lung Machine (Bypass)

This machine performs the function of the heart and lungs in surgery, when grafts are being attached to the heart.


Hypercholesterolemia refers to levels of cholesterol in the blood that are higher than normal.


High blood pressure, usually above 135/85.


Low blood pressure. The tolerance for low blood pressure varies greatly, but generally a systolic blood pressure less than 90 indicates hypotension..


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An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device that's placed in the chest or abdomen.

Incentive Spirometer

This machine lets you know if you are breathing deeply enough. Respiratory therapists teach patients how to use the spirometer.


Lack of or insufficient oxygen to the heart muscle. Ischemia is a reversible condition if normal blood flow is restored.

IV (Intravenous)

Small tubes which are placed into the veins for the purpose of giving fluids and drugs, taking blood samples, and measuring pressures. These "lines" as they are called, will remain in place for several days after surgery.


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Left Ventricle

The largest chamber of the heart. It is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body.

Local (Anesthetic)

Numbing medicine which is used to decrease discomfort when intravenous lines are put into place.


Sponge-like organs of the body which allow oxygen to enter the blood when you breathe.


left ventricular assist device.


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Mammary Artery

An artery that runs down the inside of the chest wall and is sometimes used in coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Mitral Insufficiency

An incomplete closing of the mitral valve, causing blood to flow backward into the left atrium.

Mitral Stenosis

A narrowing of the mitral valve, causing blood to flow backward into the left atrium.

Mitral Valve

The valve that sits between the left atrium and the left ventricle.


The magnetic resonance angiogram, or MRA, is a non-invasive test that has demonstrated usefulness in defining the anatomy of blood vessels of certain size in the head and neck.


MRI Scan Definition. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a diagnostic technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a detailed image of the body’s soft tissue and bones. An MRI images the spine by using a magnet that goes around the body to excite hydrogen atoms.


The multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) scan is a non-invasive nuclear test that uses a radioactive isotope called technetium to evaluate the functioning of the heart's ventricles.


A heart murmur is defined as the sound caused by turbulent blood flow through the heart, as heard by a physician through a stethoscope. Most heart murmurs are benign, but sometimes a murmur can indicate problems such as a malfunctioning heart valve.

Myocardial Infarction (M.I.)

A "heart-attack", with loss of part of the heart muscle due to a severe decrease in blood supply. Permanent damage to the heart occurs.


An inflammatory disease of the heart muscle (myocardium) that can result from a variety of causes. While most cases are produced by a viral infection, an inflammation of the heart muscle may also be instigated by toxins, drugs, and hypersensitive immune reactions. Myocarditis is a rare but serious condition that affects both males and females of any age.


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NG Tube (Nasogastric)

A small tube placed through the nose and into the stomach to draw out secretions and lessen stomach upset immediately after surgery.

Nuclear heart scan

Is a test that provides important information about the health of your heart. For this test, a safe, radioactive substance called a tracer is injected into your bloodstream through a vein. The tracer travels to your heart and releases energy.


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Premature atrial contractions (PACs), also known as atrial premature complexes (APC) or atrial premature beats (APB), are a common cardiac dysrhythmia characterized by premature heartbeats originating in the atria Epi genetics


Electronic device used to control the heart rate. Used after open heart surgery to maintain a steady heart rate for recovery, and, in emergencies, to stimulate the heart to beat.


Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition of the blood vessels that supply the legs and feet. It leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This causes decreased blood flow, which can injure nerves and other tissues.


Performed through a small opening in the skin.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA).

See Angioplasty.

Pericardial Tamponade

Pericardial Tamponade is a dangerous form of pericarditis. The membranes enclosing the heart do not easily stretch, so if fluid accumulates between the membranes and the heart, pressure from it may prevent the heart from working as a pump. Pericardial tamponade usually is the result of trauma, such as an automobile accident, and must be treated immediately. Pericardial tamponade may occur after cardiac surgery.


Two thin membranes enclose the heart in a sac-like structure. If these membranes become irritated or inflamed, the condition is known as pericarditis. Pericarditis is fairly common, affecting about 1 in 1,000 people at some point in their lives. It can be caused by flu, polio, injury, or German measles. Other causes are rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. This condition sometimes follows a heart attack.


The accumulated wax-like material that causes a blockage in a blood vessel. Also known as a lesion or stenosis.


A substance in the blood that is involved in the formation of a clot.

Pressure monitors and pressure lines

Devices used to measure the internal pressures that the heart and lungs are emitting. Usually inserted through arteries in the neck, arm or leg.

Pulmonary embolism

A condition in which a blood clot that has formed elsewhere in the body travels to the lungs.

Pulmonary Function Studies

A series of tests which are performed before surgery to evaluate the condition of your lungs.

Pulmonary Valve

The valve that sits at the junction of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.


Premature ventricular contraction (PVC) - An early or extra heartbeat that happens when the heart's lower chambers (the ventricles) contract too soon, out of sequence with the normal heartbeat.


Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) involves damage to or blockage in the blood vessels distant from your heart—the peripheral arteries and veins. Your peripheral arteries and veins carry blood to and from your arm and leg muscles and the organs in and below your stomach area.


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A re-narrowing or blockage of an artery at the same site where angioplasty was previously done.

Rheumatic heart disease

A disease of the heart (mainly affecting the heart valves) caused by rheumatic fever.


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Saphenous Vein

The large vein in the leg, often used as the "bypass graft" in coronary artery bypass graft surgery.


A narrowing of any canal. Used to describe narrowed coronary arteries or a narrowed heart valve.


An expandable, slotted metal tube that is inserted into a vessel. A stent acts as a scaffold to provide structural support for a vessel.


The breastbone.

Stroke- hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke

Stroke is when poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. There are two main types of stroke: ischemic, due to lack of blood flow, and hemorrhagic, due to bleeding. They result in part of the brain not functioning properly.


A procedure performed on patients connected to a ventilator. A small tube placed down the throat draws out mucous, in order the keep the lungs clear.

Sutures (also called Stitches)

The material used to close a surgical incision.


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An abnormally fast heart rate.


Transesophageal echocardiography. A diagnostic test which employs ultrasound waves to make images of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures and which is done through the esophagus.

Telemetry Monitory

A specialized wireless monitor that allows patients to move freely in their rooms and the hall, but still enables the staff to observe their EKG.


A blockage caused by clumps of cells.

Tricuspid Valve

The valve that sits between the right atrium and the right ventricle.


Substances in the blood that are a component of the "bad" type of cholesterol.

Troponin enzyme

Cardiac Enzyme Studies. Cardiac enzyme studies measure the levels of enzymes and proteins that are linked with injury of the heart muscle. These include the enzyme creatine kinase (CK), and the proteins troponin I (TnI) and troponin T (TnT).


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High-frequency sound vibrations, which cannot be heard by the human ear, used in medical diagnosis.


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The heart has 4 valves: the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and the tricuspid.

Vein Graft

A piece of a vein taken from either a leg or arm that is used to bypass the damaged coronary artery and restore blood flow to the heart muscle.


Vessels that transport blood back to the heart after the oxygen has been used by the body.


A machine that helps patients breathe after surgery.


One of the two lower chambers of the heart.

Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation (V-fib or VF) is when the heart quivers instead of pumps due to disorganized electrical activity in the ventricles.




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Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

is an abnormality in the electrical functioning of the heart which may cause rapid heart rates. The abnormality affects the electrical signal between the atria and ventricles.

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