Simple Auscultation Listening For Common Heart Valve Disease Types

Course Details

Heart Valve Disease is a common condition in general practice. It is estimated that over 500,00 patients have issues with one or more of their heart valves, many of them undiagnosed. If left undetected, the prognosis is poor. For example, for patients with severe Aortic Stenosis, as many as 50% of patients will not survive at two years.

Severe symptomatic valve disease can also have a major impact on quality of life (QOL) as there is often a dramatic change in exercise tolerance, leading to an increased reliability on family and community support. Patients and families may also incorrectly associate these conditions with “just getting old” and not communicating such symptoms with their GPs. These patients are frequently at a higher risk for heart failure hospitalisation, lengthy admission stays, and an increased cost to the community.

Dr Ryan Markham is an Interventional Cardiologist who specialises in the management of ischaemic and valvular heart disease. Dr Markham performs coronary and structural interventions including percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), transcatheter mitral and tricuspid therapies (TMTT), and congenital heart defect repair. Click here to connect with Dr Ryan Markham.

The Baker Institute recently published a white paper urging the medical community to increase vigilance in identifying these at-risk patients.1 Cardiac auscultation is the simplest and most effective tool that can be used in general practice to identify those with a heart murmur. These patients should also receive an echocardiogram and be referred to a Cardiologist for consultation.

In this interactive learning module, Dr Markham discusses some of the more common valve pathologies and offers tips and tricks on how they can be identified through auscultation, patient assessment, and thorough patient history.

Following a review of the education activity, you can participate in a reflective activity to consider how this education may impact your practice in your clinic/rooms. Finally, complete a simple audit to identify any patients who may be at risk of aortic stenosis in your practice.



1. Whitepaper: Our hidden ageing

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Simple Auscultation: Listening for common valve disease types RACGP CPD Course

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