Abnormalities of the cardiovascular system are encountered more frequently than any other defect. Long-standing cardiovascular disease is usually evident from the history or physical examination of the patient. Signs of untreated cardiac failure (orthopnoea, pulmonary congestion, enlarged heart, tender liver, rapid and irregular pulse) are absolute contra-indications for elective or emergency surgery. The assistance of a cardiologist should be sought and surgery postponed until the cardiac failure is under control. Statistics have shown that in these circumstances delay does not increase the overall mortality and, if anything, will decrease it.
KeywordsCardiac Ischaemia Mitral Valve Disease Aortic Valve Disease Enlarge Heart Irregular Pulse
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