Cardiovascular diseases are – according to the (World Health Organization (WHO) – the number one cause of death globally. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) is the most prominent under the Cardiovascular diseases. In Switzerland alone, the risk to develop a coronary heart disease during life time is around 25% for men and 18% for women.
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors, the understanding of these risk factors, their mechanisms and impact on the cardiovascular system.
In this context our course aims to approach the complex field of myocardial infarction in two respects: medical education and awareness of a broader audience.
Our Heart and Cardiovascular System
This first module of this course focuses on the heart and the cardiovascular system. The first lecture covers the anatomy and function of the heart, explaining the basic glossary which you will encounter during this course. The second lecture displays the various types of blood vessels and arteries. This is helpful to understand the final lecture of this module: the sympathetic nervous system. This lecture will discuss the external influences that have a direct impact on our nervous system, including the physiological effects and clinical consequences.
Risk Factors and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
Whereas the first module focuses on different physiological aspects of the heart and the cardiovascular system, the second module considers several external risk factors which can cause a myocardial infarction. This module not only discusses the risks such as aging, smoking, hypertension, lipids and diabetes, but also explains which preventive measures can be employed to minimize the risk of a heart attack, for example, by focusing on physical exercise to increase life expectancy and the personal health.
Acute Coronary Syndrome: Diagnosis & Early Management
This module focuses on different methods and approaches to deal with acute coronary syndrome, which in the worst case can lead to an acute heart attack. To provide you with a clearer idea of what can lead to myocardial infarction, this module concentrates on a variety of specific cardiac diseases, their mechanisms, the medical tools used to detect them, as well as on the appropriate therapeutic approach to prevent cardiac events.
Acute Coronary Syndrome: Follow up and Rehabilitation
Module four illustrates the methods employed to improve cardiac rehabilitation. Moreover, this module focuses on the secondary prevention to avoid the risk of myocardial infarction. This involves the analysis of external and biological factors which can cause cardiac diseases and explains the mechanisms needed to change bad behavioral patterns. There are several factors in life which can be easily altered to improve the personal wellbeing and those are discussed in this section.
Heart Failure: Final Stage of Coronary Heart Diseases
The last module focuses on the pathophysiological aspect of heart diseases by illustrating the chain of cause of heart failure. The module also explains how we can diagnose a potential heart failure by correctly analyzing the clinical symptoms and signs. Echocardiography is the most important tool to identify the condition of the heart and to diagnose heart failure. To minimize the risk of heart failure, it is important to inform the patients about possible therapeutic approaches. Therefore, the last part of this module discusses both medical and device therapies and introduces assist devices in correlation with transplantation as last possible treatment method.
This is an excellent review course on the subject for medical students, nurses and medical graduates alike. The quizzes demand not only viewing the lecture videos but reading the recommended references as well. Unfortunately, the relative complexity of the material may not be suitable for casual learners or lay people interested to know more about the disease.