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Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia is a general term for conditions of heart rhythm. Under normal circumstances, the heart will beat regularly with a number of pulses of 60–80 times per minute. In the condition of arrhythmias, the heart beats irregularly, beats faster, or pulsates more slowly than normal conditions.

There are several types of arrhythmias, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation, which is arrhythmia that occurs due to the porch of the heart, only vibrates and does not contract regularly.
  • Cardiac conduction disorders, namely arrhythmias caused by electricity in the heart do not work as they should.
  • Bradycardia, which is the heart beats slower than it should.
  • Tachycardia, which is the heart beats faster than it should.
  • Ventricular fibrillation, the arrhythmia that occurs due to the heart chambers only vibrates and does not contract regularly.

 

Arrhythmia is a serious condition because it can cause sufferers to experience repeated strokes and sudden cardiac arrest.

Cause

Under normal conditions, the heart can beat regularly and at normal speeds due to the presence of electrical signals originating from the sinoatrial (SA) node. The SA node is located in the right foyer of the heart. The electrical signal will be forwarded to the left foyer, the two chambers of the heart, and the heart muscle, until finally the heart beats regularly.

The condition of arrhythmias can occur due to a disturbance in the SA node, a disturbance in the flow of electricity from the SA node to another part of the heart, or because of an electrical source other than the SA node which also attempts to make the heart beat.

These things can be found in conditions:




  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Congenital heart abnormalities
  • Elderly
  • Electrolyte disturbances such as potassium, magnesium or calcium
  • Take narcotics such as cocaine, amphetamines or alcohol
  • Side effects of certain drugs
  • Thyroid hormone disorders

Diagnosis

To determine the diagnosis of arrhythmia, at the initial stage the doctor will collect information related to complaints experienced by the patient, as well as conduct a thorough physical examination. After that, the doctor will perform a cardiac record (electrocardiography / ECG). On this examination, the patient is in a resting state. The paramedic team will install 12 electrical leads to assess the heart's electrical flow.

However, if arrhythmias occur intermittently, ECG examination cannot always detect abnormalities that occur. Generally another check is needed such as:

  • Holter monitor, which is an ECG examination carried out for 24-72 hours. On this examination, a portable ECG device will be installed on the patient's body. Then the doctor will study the patient's heart rhythm for a period of time when the holter monitor is installed.
  • Treadmill test, which is an ECG examination performed on patients who are walking or running on a treadmill. This examination is generally necessary in cases of arrhythmias triggered by heavy physical activity.
  • Electrophysiology test, which is an examination to determine the course of the heart's electrical flow. This examination can also find out which part of the heart is experiencing electrical signal interference. This examination is done by laying the patient down, giving a local anesthetic, then the doctor will insert a kind of catheter hose into the heart.

Symptoms

Symptoms of arrhythmia vary. Some arrhythmia sufferers do not feel any symptoms. In fact, the problem of arrhythmia can be known accidentally when examined by a doctor. There are also arrhythmia sufferers who complain of heart palpitations.

Other complaints that can be experienced by arrhythmia sufferers are:

  • Feel tired or weak
  • Dizzy like floating
  • Fainting, sometimes fainting occurs repeatedly
  • The heart beats fast
  • Chest pain
  • Hard to breathe
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

Treatment

Treatment of arrhythmias is carried out by a cardiologist. The goals of treatment include:

  • Prevent the formation of blood clots in the heart due to irregular heartbeat. This is important because if there is a blood clot in the heart that escapes to the brain, a stroke can occur at any time.
  • Adjust the heart rate as close to normal as possible.
  • Treat heart disease that causes arrhythmias.
  • Control patient risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

 

For this reason, the doctor will give blood thinners and provide medicines that help control the heart rhythm. If arrhythmias are not controlled even though various medications have been given, sometimes an ablation action needs to be done. This action aims to 'turn off' abnormal electrical signals in the heart.

If arrhythmias are accompanied by severe symptoms such as decreased consciousness, shock, shortness of breath, or severe chest pain, immediate cardioversion is necessary. Cardioversion is performed by giving an electric shock to the heart with a DC shock device.

Meanwhile, if the arrhythmia is in the form of a very slow heart rate and does not improve after being treated with various kinds of drugs, then the action of installing a pacemaker (artificial pacemaker) may need to be done.

Prevention

To reduce the risk of arrhythmias, there are several things that should be considered, such as:

  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol to stay within the normal range
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke

Do exercise regularly at least 4 times every week



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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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