Abnormal Heart Rhythms: World Heart Rhythm Week

Dr Janes Moses (Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist) from our Busamed Paardevlei Private Hospital gives insight into Abnormal Heart Rhythms:

Heart arrhythmia refers to the group of conditions that cause the heart to beat irregularly, in other words too slowly or too quickly.

Abnormal heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias, are a common cause of symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness, and fainting spells. One of the most frequently encountered arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation (or AFib), can cause a deterioration in the pump function of the heart and may causes a stroke. If you are concerned about your heart rhythm, visit your general practitioner for an ECG.

Fortunately, palpitations are often not the result of dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities, but if your GP picks up an abnormality on your ECG, you can be referred to a heart rhythm specialist for further investigation and treatment. It is likely that, with modern technology your arrhythmia can be managed by either medications or an ablation procedure. 

There are two major types of arrhythmia:

Tachycardia, where the heartbeat is too fast – more than 100 beats per minute

Bradycardia, where the heartbeat is to slow – less than 60 beats per minute.

This World Heart Rhythm Week we encourage you to follow the below steps to calculate your own heart rate.

One: Place your second and third fingers of your right hand on the edge of your left wrist.

Two: Slide your fingers to the centre of your wrist until you find your pulse.

Three: Count the beat for 60 seconds or count for 30 seconds and multiply by 2 to get a pulse rate in beats per minute.

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