Almost one out of three deaths in the United States is caused by some form of heart disease. One of the warning signs a person receives from his or her body about potential heart problems is a condition called angina. Angina occurs when there is a blockage in the arteries or when the heart is deprived of the oxygen-rich blood it needs. ECP heart care is a non-invasive procedure that can relieve symptoms of angina.
Symptoms of Angina
The most common symptom of angina is a squeezing or tight sensation in the chest area. This can feel restricting and be painful, as well as very frightening when it first occurs. It usually doesn’t last for long, and many people ignore these symptoms until it’s too late. When symptoms of angina occur, it might be an omen of a heart attack sometime in the near future. If treatment isn’t initiated as soon as these symptoms start, the condition of the heart will continue to deteriorate.
How Does ECP Heart Care Work?
External CounterPulsation (ECP) is a way of reducing the work the heart has to do to achieve total body circulation. The first step is to apply electrodes to the chest so the patient’s heart rhythm and blood pressure can be picked up by an electrocardiogram machine. Then we attach sets of cuffs to the patient. These cuffs are connected to air hoses which, in turn, are connected to valves that produce the air pressure.
When the machine is turned on and the heart is at rest, the cuffs are pumped full of air. This sends a strong wave of blood back to the heart that is in rhythm with the patient’s heartbeat and blood pressure. When a rhythm is established, oxygen-rich blood flows strongly through the veins and arteries of the patient. ECP heart care treatments increase the flow of blood to the heart and help small blood vessels in the heart open up.
If ECP treatments are given on a regular basis, they can truly improve the lives of people suffering from symptoms of angina. They can keep symptoms of angina from occurring as much as they normally would and with less severity.