Arrhythmia in Nursing
Arrhythmia & EP
Introduction: Heart arrhythmia also called as irregular heartbeat or cardiac dysrhythmia is a group of conditions where the heartbeat is irregular, too slow, or too fast. Arrhythmias are broken down into:
- Slow heartbeat: bradycardia.
- Fast heartbeat: tachycardia.
- Irregular heartbeat: flutter or fibrillation.
- Early heartbeat: premature contraction.
Cardiac Electrophysiology (EP) is the study of electrical system of heart aiming at analysing, diagnosis and treating its electrical activities. The human heart pumps 4,300 gallons of blood each day through the body’s intricate vascular network and although displacement of blood is its principal function. The heart regulates electrical impulses to create the beats.
Causes of arrhythmia: Arrhythmia may be caused by any type of interruption to the electrical impulses. A number of factors can cause the heart to work incorrectly those are:
alcohol abuse, diabetes, drug abuse, excessive coffee consumption, congestive heart failure, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, mental stress, heart attack, smoking, dietary supplements, medications.
Diagnosis: The following test may involve under arrhythmia diagnosis:
- Blood and urine test
- Holtermonitor- a device that records heart for 1 or 2 days.
- Chest X-ray
- Electro-physiologic testing
- Heart catheterization
Treatment: Electrophysiology (EP) procedure:
The patient is applied with local anaesthesia a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel through a site in the neck and the catheter is guided by fluoroscope images of the catheter and the heart muscles.
Once the catheter reaches the heart, electrodes at its tip gather data and a variety of electrical measurements are made. This “electrical mapping” helps the cardiac arrhythmia specialist identify the location of the area disrupting the electrical flow.
The Electrophysiologist then administers different medications or electrical impulses to determine their ability to terminate the arrhythmia.
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