Palpitations are described as extra heart beats and most are not even aware of them. It is important to note that all the muscle cells in the heart can produce an electrical wave that spreads all throughout the normal electrical pathways and bundles to generate a heartbeat.
Several additional beats are considered as typical variants and might be simply an irregular irritant but others can be serious, either acutely or in the long run. The spare beats that stem from the atrium are not likely to be serious than those from the ventricle.
What are the indications?
Palpitations are symptoms and can be linked with an isolated “skipped beat”. If prolonged, there is a sensation of fluttering or fullness in the chest. Oftentimes, there is an evident fullness in the throat linked with shortness of breath and it might be hard to determine if this is due to the palpitations or angina.
This is the case if the palpitations have settled and no longer present if the individual seeks medical care. Extended episodes might be linked with chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, vomiting and nausea. Take note that some forms of heart rhythm issues can lead to lightheadedness or passing out.
Self-care measures for palpitations
Since there are various forms of palpitations, the treatment is specific to the confirmed diagnosis. Among those who were not yet properly diagnosed with a specific palpitation, minor lifestyle changes can minimize the symptoms such as limiting or stopping the intake of alcohol, caffeine and over-the-counter cold medications.
Individuals with palpitations must note down when, where and what circumstances surround the palpitations. The individual must learn how to take his/her pulse and record the pulse rate whether they occur alone or in a pattern and if other symptoms are present. In addition, it is vital to note if the heart beat is regular or irregular and if slow or fast.
The presence of the other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or passing out necessitates immediate emergency assistance.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on palpitations is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage palpitations, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.