A cardiac arrhythmia is a change in the normal rhythm of the heart. Your heart may beat too fast or too slow or beat with an irregular or skipping rhythm. A change in the heart's rhythm may feel like a really strong heartbeat or a fluttering in your chest. A severe heart rhythm problem can keep the body from getting the blood it needs. This can result in shortness of breath, light-headedness, and fainting.
You may take medicine to treat your condition. Your doctor may recommend a pacemaker or recommend catheter ablation to destroy small parts of the heart that are causing a rhythm problem. Another possible treatment is an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a device that gives the heart a shock to return the heart to a normal rhythm.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of:
May 6, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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