|Alvin Community College Instructor Finds Mitral Valve Heart Problem in Volunteer|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:38|
ACC instructor Jessica Murphy, left, stands with volunteer, Judy Scott.
When Judy Scott discovered that Alvin Community College was looking for volunteers to help students perform cardiovascular scans, she decided to sign up. The tests involve scans of the heart to find issues with the blood vessels, the heart walls, chambers, or valves.
The scans are for practice only, and it is not intended to be used for any diagnostic purposes. Students perform the scans while they are observed by an instructor. The practice scans are an important part of the students' education. There are times when the students and instructors notice a problem, but volunteers must visit a doctor to confirm the issue.
Recently DCVS instructor Jessica Murphy was working with student Stacie Thompson when they found a potentially serious problem for Scott. Murphy and the student saw that a large amount of blood was flowing the wrong way through Scott's mitral valve.
"A piece of the mitral valve, called the chordae tendineae or heart strings, had broken loose causing wide open mitral regurgitation. Judy's heart was not getting blood to the body like its supposed to and blood backed up into the lungs instead of moving forward," Murphy said. "We caught it very early and recommended a visit to her doctor."
Scott said she had felt light-headed and was easily fatigued before she received the scan at ACC. These are common symptoms of problems with the mitral valve but they could also be due to many other potential issues. That is why it is important to also see your doctor as well, said Murphy.
Scott is looking to participate in a research study being conducted in the Texas Medical Center that would be able to repair her mitral valve with a clip that is inserted through the artery in the groin. This new procedure does not require open heart surgery and is a less invasive option to repair the torn mitral valve.
For more information about the DCVS program, call 281-756-5625 or visit www.alvincollege.edu/dcvs.