Arrhythmias in children: What are the treatment options?

There are various forms of arrhythmias in children and adults. Once an abnormal heart rhythm occurs, it is vital to determine the type and the treatment is based on its type. The arrhythmias can cause the heart rate to become erratic, fast or slow.

Management of arrhythmias in children

Various treatment options are available in managing arrhythmias in children. Generally, the treatment is aimed on a specific problem.

Medications

arrhythmias

Most of the heart rhythm ailments particularly tachycardia responds well to medications.

Most of the heart rhythm ailments particularly tachycardia responds well to medications. Various drugs are now available and more are being developed. These medications could not cure the arrhythmias, but can improve the symptoms. The drugs work by preventing the episodes from starting, reducing the heart rate during an episode or shortening the length of an episode.

Oftentimes, it is difficult to find the right medication. Several drugs might be used before the right one is found. In some cases, the child should take the medication daily while others only need to use one if they have a tachycardia episode. It is vital to take the medications as prescribed.

Since all medications have potential side effects, including drugs to manage arrhythmias, it is vital to have a child admitted to a healthcare facility so that medication can be started. If a medication is prescribed, it is vital to carefully follow the instructions given.

It is often required to monitor the amount of drug present in the bloodstream of the child. The objective is to ensure that there is enough drug to be effective, but also to ensure that there is not too much to trigger the side effects.

Other treatment options

  • Radiofrequency ablation – some forms of tachycardia are dangerous or significantly disrupt with the normal activities of the child. These issues require a more permanent treatment. In this procedure, several catheters are used. One is positioned right over the area responsible for the tachycardia. The tip is heated and the small region of the heart is altered so that the electrical current will not move through the tissue.
  • Surgery – this might be an option to permanently stop an episode of tachycardia
  • Pacemaker – various heart rhythm disorders can be controlled the placement of a pacemaker. A slow heart rate is the common reason why a pacemaker is used. With the advancements in technology, some forms of rapid heart rates can be controlled using a pacemaker as well.
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