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Abnormality Of The Heart Known As Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome

1212 words - 5 pages

The human heart is a remarkable organ. It has several functions in order to help humans sustain life each and every day. One of its biggest responsibilities is to pump oxygen and nutrient rich blood to areas of the body to tolerate all of life’s activities. Autonomic functions such as breathing require the heart to function properly. Averaging the size of a human fist, it continuously pumps around five quarts of blood each minute, or roughly 2,000 gallons every single day. Every second of the day, one’s heart is constantly working and how hard it has to work can be a determining factor on one’s health. Though most humans are born with a normal functioning heart, there are many who are diagnosed with abnormalities at birth and even later on in their lives. One of these abnormalities is known as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, also known as WPW.
WPW is a congenital heart defect in which an extra circuit of nerves or wires exists in the heart creating a separate pathway for its electrical output. This short circuit triggers what is known as paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, a resting heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. When the heartbeat travels from the top to the bottom of the heart, occasionally the extra nerves will pick up this heartbeat, resulting in a rapid heartbeat/palpitations along with the possibilities of becoming light headed or shortness of breath. This can be dangerous if it allows electrical impulses to travel to the sinus node or if they overlap. Generally these can cause symptoms from chest pains and dizziness all the way up to seizures and cardiac death in rare cases. It was in 1930 that Drs. Wolff, Parkinson and White, had put a new emphasis on cardiology at the time, and has peaked the interests of cardiac medical professionals ever since: Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome (Scheinman, 2012, pp. 1-2). These doctors were the first responsible cardiologists to write up in depth description of the syndrome, which earned them the right to name it after themselves. Other known doctors that supported Wolff, Parkinson’s and Whites research were Pick, Langendorf, Katz, Wellens, and Durrer. These cardiologists were able to confirm the data and analysis Wolff, Parkinson’s and Whites wrote up through Electrocardiograms and stimulation of the heart. It was in 1981 that Dr. Morady and Dr. Scheinman ablated an additional pathway using high-energy direct-current shocks. This is known to be the first successful surgical therapy to a patient with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome that helped avoid additional incidents of PSVT. This unlocked entry to an effective and reliable treatment in those who were suffering from the disorder. Since the discovery made by Morady and Scheinman, the world of cardiology has improved drastically (Scheinman, 2012).
WPW is said to occur randomly in humans affecting about 1 to 3 per 1,000 persons. Statistically speaking, men are more likely to suffer from this condition than women because there is a higher...

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