Westside Regional Medical Center – Why does the heart skip a beat?
Normally, the heart rate at rest is 60 to 120 beats for minute and it is sinus rhythm – meaning it comes from the sinus node – the pace maker we were all born with. If someone has an arrhythmia they may have skipped beats, extra beats or a sense that their heart is racing. In that situation, we conduct a surface electrocardiogram to determine whether there is an irregular heartbeat. Then we conduct an electrophysiology study by placing a catheter inside the heart to determine the cause of the irregular heartbeat. Arrhythmia is an electrical problem that can originate from either the top chamber of the heart – called super ventricular arrhythmias or from the bottom chamber of the heart – called ventricular arrhythmias. Super ventricular arrhythmias are broken up into different types. They are atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, AV nodal reentry tachycardia, AV tachycardia and atrial tachycardia. The super ventricle arrhythmia is typically treated with medication or ablation. Ventricular arrhythmias may be treated with ablation or placing defibrillators.
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