An arrhythmia is a disorder of the heart rate, such as beating
too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or irregularly.
The heart has four chambers. Normally, they contract in a very
specific, coordinated way, guided by electrical impulses that
originate in the sinoatrial node - the heart's natural pacemaker.
When a problem occurs along this electrical conduction system,
various arrhythmias may occur.
Learn more about Arrhythmias
- Fast or slow heartbeat (palpitations)
- Light-headedness, dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Skipping beats - changes in the pattern of the pulse
- Some people with arrhythmia may have no symptoms.
A health care provider should be consulted when there are
symptoms of a possible arrhythmia. The risk of developing an
arrhythmia varies greatly, depending on the condition of the
heart, the blood chemistry, any endocrine abnormalities and a
history of heart attack.
Arrhythmias can develop as a side effect of various substances or
drugs, including caffeine, beta- blockers, amphetamines, cocaine
and psychotropic drugs.
Severe arrhythmias can lead to angina, heart attack, congestive
heart failure, stroke or even death.
At Texas Health, we have advanced diagnostics to help us
understand individual conditions and plan a course of treatment.
Serious arrhythmias may require urgent treatment to restore the
heart to a normal rhythm. Treatment can include delivering an
electrical shock to the heart with a defibrillator, implanting a
temporary pacemaker or giving IV medications.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart
and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While
various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of
our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology
highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and
vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.