Palpitations

Feeling irregular or fast heart beats?

The complaint of irregular or fast heart beats (often grouped as palpitations) can be frustrating unless there is an electrical recording of your heart beat while feeling the symptom.

It is not uncommon for a patient to present to the Emergency Room to report of having felt a fluttering of the heart, or a pounding of the beat, or a rapid pulse; yet often these symptoms have fully resolved by the time of arrival to the hospital. Therefore, the electrical recording of the heart (EKG) would most likely be normal. Because further evaluation and treatment depends heavily on the type of heart beat (arrhythmia) that caused the symptoms, it is very important that the Doctor have an EKG recording at the time of symptoms. It is not unusual for a patient to present to the doctor multiple times before able to record the EKG while experiencing the symptom.

There are multiple reasons a person may experience palpitations and these include: anxiety, benign paroxysmal supra-ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, as well as potentially fatal ventricular tachycardia.  Because of the wide spectrum in severity of the disorders, you should get medical evaluation at the time of the palpitations. Further evaluation beyond an EKG will probably be required.

Follow the links for more complete discussion:

WED-MD: what are heart palpitations

Mayo Clinic: when to have palpitations evaluated

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