Gustavo A. Heresi, MD, MS, Director of the Pulmonary Vascular and Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Program in the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Respiratory Institute at Cleveland Clinic discusses caring for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare, progressive disorder characterized by high blood pressure (hypertension) in the arteries of the lungs (pulmonary artery) for no apparent reason. The pulmonary arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from the right side of the heart through the lungs. Symptoms of PAH include shortness of breath (dyspnea) especially during exercise, chest pain, and fainting episodes. The exact cause of PAH is unknown and although treatable, there is no known cure for the disease. PAH usually affects women between the ages of 30-60. The progressive nature of this disease means that an individual may experience only mild symptoms at first, but will eventually require treatment and medical care to maintain a reasonable quality of life.
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