Heart valve disease occurs when the valve cannot open all the way because of disease or injury, so blood has a hard time flowing to the next heart chamber. Or the value does not close completely, and blood leaks backwards. As a result, the heart has to work harder to pump blood or blood may back up in the lungs or lower body.The cause of valve disease can be a childhood attack of rheumatic fever, a bacterial infection or an injury to the heart. Some people are born with a valve that does not work properly, or the valves may wear out with the aging process. A variety of other problems, including coronary artery disease (blockages in the coronary arteries of the heart), can sometimes cause valve problems.
The heart has two halves, a left and a right, each with two chambers, the atrium and the ventricle. Between the chambers are the heart valves, which ensure that the blood runs only in one direction. There are also heart valves situated between the ventricles and the major arteries the aorta and pulmonary artery – where they have the same function. Failure in a valve in the left side of the heart the aortic or the mitral valve results in left-sided heart failure. This leads to an accumulation of fluids in the lungs, or pulmonary oedema.
Valve diseases of the right side of the heart, the pulmonary and tricuspid valve, is rare but can occur as the result of some forms of congenital heart disease or long-term left-sided heart failure. Right-sided heart failure is characterized by fluid accumulation in the body, particularly in the legs, abdominal cavity and the liver. Malformation of the heart valves can be divided into two categories: narrowed (stenosed) valves and leaking (regurgitant) valves or a combination of both.
Causes of Heart Disease:
- congenital abnormality
- degeneration through atherosclerosis (aortic stenosis only)
- damage from rheumatic fever
- excessive calcification in old age (aortic stenosis only)
- bacterial infection or inflammation of a valve
- excessive floppiness of the leaflets (mitral valve prolapse)
- enlargement of the heart or aorta, the main blood vessel into which the left ventricle pumps
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Heart Valve Disease
If you or a loved one has taken prescription medications and been diagnosed with Heart valve disease, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified defective drug attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).