Flashcards in Palpitations Deck (14):
What is a palpitation?
Defined as an abnormal awareness of the heart beat. They may notice that their heart beat skips a beat or has an irregular rhythm, is beating faster or slower than normal or is beating with greater strength.
What are some normal scenarios where palpitations may occur?
- but they may also occur due to problems
What are some pathological conditions where palpitations may arise?
- heart disease
- overactive thyroid gland
- congenital arrhythmia
How do patients describe palpitations?
- skipping beats
- heart stopped
What is the process behind an arrhythmia?
In an arrhythmia, the heart isn't perfusing oxygen effectively and so it can cause pain or damage - palpitations are a symptom of this.
It is not necessarily an irregularity that is pathological but is most certainly an irregularity in the physiological process of SA --> AV--> Purkinje fibres & bindle of His.
Which of the cardinal features are important for Palpitations?
What should you ask for Quality
- irregular or regular palpitations
- tap it out for me?
What should you ask for Severity?
Time course if often an indication of severity.
- fast onset or slow progression
- how fast the beats are during the episode
What should you ask for time course?
- Onset (sudden is more likely to have a serious underlying cause)
- Previous experience
What should you ask for Context?
- At rest? During activity?
- Drug use? Caffeine?
What should you ask for relieving and aggravating factors?
- anything improve the palpitations
- aggravating factors may be exercise, stress or coffee
What other associated features may be present?
- Chest pain
- other pain
- other symptoms
What are two common arrythmias?
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT): common in young people--> high regular HR; due to bypass of the SA node
Atrial Fibrillation (AF): more common in elderly --> irregular fast HR