ACC instructor finds problem in volunteer's heart during study
During a heart study conducted by Alvin Community College, instructor Jessica Murphy noticed a potentially serious problem in volunteer Judy Scott's heart.
"You could see something was wrong with the mitral valve," said Murphy in the press release. "A piece of it, called the chordae tendineae or heart strings, had broken loose, causing wide-open mitral regurgitation."
This break was causing a large amount of blood to flow the wrong way through Scott's mitral valve.
"You're not getting blood to the body like you're supposed to, and blood also backs up into the lungs instead of moving forward," Murphy added in the press release. "Luckily, we caught it very early."
Scott later admitted to feeling light-headed and fatigued before the ACC scan, which are common symptoms of problems with the mitral valve.
Murphy recommended Scott to a physician, but the mitral valve problem was not spotted again until Scott got another opinion from a second physician.
The scans conducted by ACC students and instructors are not intended to be used for diagnostic purposes, but occasionally problems are found, and volunteers are referred to doctors.
Scott is hoping to participate in a research study at Texas Medical Center to repair the mitral valve with a clip inserted through the artery in the groin, a less invasive option than open-heart surgery.
For more information about the program, call 281-756-5625 or visit www.alvincollege.edu/dcvs.
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