Heart block as a complication of acute myocardial infarction: the anatomical and physiological mechanisms


OverviewHeart block (HB) is a recognised complication of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and is often a marker for increased mortality and morbidity. An appreciation of the anatomical and physiological mechanisms associated with the development of HB in AMI is important for the prediction and management of complications when dealing with such cases. Certain forms of HB are classically linked to infarction of specific anatomical territories in AMI. However, variations in pre-morbid state and anatomy of the coronary vessels provide potential for the development of HB in any patient experiencing AMI, regardless of the territory affected.LEARNING OUTCOMESAfter completing this module, the paramedic will be able to:Understand heart block in the context of acute myocardial infarctionUnderstand the relevant anatomy and physiology of clinical presentations of heart block in acute myocardial infarctionIdentify types of heart block in order to determine appropriate treatment strategiesUnderstand the differences in the appearance of various forms of heart block on an electrocardiogramIf you would like to send feedback, please email jpp@markallengroup.com

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