Arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. Each heartbeat starts with an electrical impulse from the sinus node, which is the normal pacemaker of the body. The impulse travels along the other parts of the electrical system to activate the atria and the ventricles, thereby completing a single heartbeat. Damage to any part of the heart's electrical system can result in an abnormally slow heart rate, called bradycardia, or an abnormally fast heart rate, called tachycardia.
Symptoms of bradycardia (a slow heart rate) include:
Symptoms of tachycardia (a fast heart rate) include:
Bradycardia (slow heart rate) may be improved or prevented with the surgical insertion of a permanent pacemaker. This mechanical device provides an electrical trigger for a heart beat when and where it is needed.
Tachycardia (fast heart rate) may be treated with:
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