Arrhythmia (Abnormal Heartbeat)enparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-arrhythmias-enHD-AR1.gifAn arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat usually caused by an electrical "short circuit" in the heart. Many are minor and not a health threat, but some can indicate a more serious problem.heart, congenital, arrhythmias, heart defect, abnormality, heart rhythm, arithmia, arhythm, arythmia, arrithmia, arithmyia, arythmya, arythm, arhy, arrhithm, short circuit, disrhythmia, heartbeat,sinus node, pacemaker, atrium, septum, conduction system, palpitation, heart problem, birth defect, ECG, EKG, tachycardia, bradycardia, fast heart rate, heart rate, slow heart rate, fast heartbeat, slow heartbeat, fast rhythm, slow rhythm, PAC, PVC, SVT, WPW, sick sinus, heart block, holter monitor, defibrillator, catheter, heart surgery, CD1Congenital Heart Defects, CD1Cardiac Catheterization, CD1Heart Surgery, CD1Diagnostic Tests, CD1Cardiology04/27/200612/04/201912/04/2019Steven B. Ritz, MD, MSEd01/01/201719038a47-2ae4-48f8-8bd5-9e46150171b0https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/arrhythmias.html/<h2>What Is an Arrhythmia?</h2> <p>An arrhythmia &nbsp;is an&nbsp;abnormal heartbeat. Most arrythmias are caused by an electrical &quot;short circuit&quot; in the heart.</p> <p>The heart normally beats in a consistent pattern, but an arrhythmia can make it beat too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly. This erratic pumping can lead to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, and chest pain.</p> <p>Many arrhythmias don't need medical care, but some can pose a health problem and need to be evaluated and treated by a doctor.</p> <h2>What Causes an Arrhythmia?</h2> <p>A unique electrical conduction system in <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/heart.html/">the heart</a> causes it to beat in its regular rhythm.</p> <p>The electrical signals start from a group of cells called the&nbsp;<strong>sinus node</strong>, located<span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;in the </span><strong style="font-size: 1em;">right atrium</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;">. The sinus node acts as the heart's </span><strong style="font-size: 1em;">pacemaker</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> and makes sure the heart is beating at a normal and consistent rate. The sinus node normally speeds up the heart rate in response to things like exercise, emotions, and stress, and slows the heart rate during sleep.</span></p> <p>But sometimes the electrical signals don't &quot;communicate&quot; properly with the heart muscle, and the heart can start beating in an abnormal rhythm — this is an arrhythmia (also called dysrhythmia<em>)</em>.</p> <p>Arrhythmias also can be due to<span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;chemical imbalances in the blood; infections; diseases that irritate the heart; medicines (prescription, over-the-counter,&nbsp;</span>and some herbal remedies<span style="font-size: 1em;">); injuries to the heart from chest trauma or heart surgery; use of illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco; caffeine; and stress.</span></p> <p>Arrhythmias can be temporary or permanent. An arrhythmia can be congenital (meaning a baby is born with it) or happen later.</p> <h2>What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Arrhythmia?</h2> <p>Arrhythmias make the heart beat less effectively, interrupting blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body. When the heart beats too fast, its chambers can't fill with enough blood. When it beats too slowly or irregularly, it can't pump enough blood out to the body.</p> <p>If the body doesn't get&nbsp;the supply of blood it needs to run smoothly, a person might have:</p> <ul> <li>dizziness</li> <li>fatigue</li> <li>lightheadedness</li> <li>weakness</li> <li>palpitations (a feeling of fluttering or pounding in the chest)</li> <li>shortness of breath</li> <li>chest pain</li> <li>fainting</li> </ul> <p>Arrhythmias can be constant, but most come and go at random. Some cause no detectable symptoms at all. In these cases, the arrhythmia is only found during a physical examination or a heart function test.</p> <h2>What's a Normal Heart Rate?</h2> <p>Heart rate is measured by counting the number of beats per minute. Someone's normal heart rate depends on things like the person's age and whether he or she leads an active lifestyle.&nbsp;</p> <p>The resting heart rate decreases as kids get older. Typical normal resting heart rate ranges are:</p> <ul> <li>babies (birth to 3 months of age): 100–150 beats per minute</li> <li>kids 1–3 years old: 70–110 beats per minute</li> <li>kids by age 12: 55–85 beats per minute</li> </ul> <p>A doctor can determine whether a heart rate is abnormally fast or slow, depending on a person's situation. An older child or adult with a slow heart rate, for example, might have symptoms when the heart rate drops below 50 beats per minute. But trained athletes have a lower resting heart rate, so a slow heart rate&nbsp;in them isn't considered abnormal if it causes no symptoms.</p> <h2>What Are the Types of Arrhythmias?</h2> <p>There are many types of arrhythmias, including:</p> <h3>Premature Atrial Contraction (PAC) and Premature Ventricular Contraction (PVC)</h3> <p>Premature contractions are usually considered minor arrhythmias. The person may feel a fluttering or pounding in the chest caused by an early or extra beat. PACs and PVCs are very common, and are what happens when it feels like your heart &quot;skips&quot; a beat. Actually, the heart doesn't skip a beat — an extra beat comes sooner than normal. Occasional premature beats are common and considered normal, but in some cases they can be a sign of an underlying medical problem or heart condition.</p> <h3>Tachycardias</h3> <p>A tachycardia is an abnormally fast heartbeat. Tachycardias fall into two major categories — <strong>supraventricular</strong> and <strong>ventricular</strong>:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/supraventricular-tachycardia.html/">Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)</a>&nbsp;</strong>is<strong>&nbsp;</strong>characterized by bursts of fast heartbeats that start in the upper chambers of the heart. These can happen suddenly and last anywhere from a few seconds to several days. Treatment is usually recommended if SVTs are long-lasting or happen often.</li> <li><strong>Ventricular tachycardia</strong>&nbsp;is a serious but uncommon condition that starts in the lower chambers of the heart and can be dangerous.</li> </ul> <h3>Bradycardias</h3> <p>A bradycardia is an abnormally slow heartbeat. Bradycardias can be due to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Sinus node dysfunction,</strong>&nbsp;when the heart's sinus node isn't working correctly, usually after surgery to correct a <a class="kh_anchor">congenital heart defect</a>.</li> <li><strong>Heart block,</strong>&nbsp;when electrical impulses can't make their way from the upper to lower chambers of the heart. It's often caused by a congenital heart defect, but also can be due to disease or injury.</li> </ul> <h2>How Is an Arrhythmia Diagnosed?</h2> <p>Doctors use&nbsp;several tools to diagnose arrhythmias. It's very important to know <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medhist.html/">a child's medical history</a> and give this information to the doctor. The doctor will use the medical history, along with a physical exam, to begin the evaluation.</p> <p>If an arrhythmia is suspected, the doctor will order an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ekg.html/">electrocardiogram (EKG)</a> to measure the heart's electrical activity. For this painless test, the child will lie down and have small metal tabs (called electrodes) fixed to the skin with sticky papers. The electrodes have wires attached to them, which connect to the EKG machine.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">The electrical signals from the heart are then briefly recorded, usually for just 10 seconds. This information is sent to a computer, where it's interpreted and drawn as a graph.</span></p> <p>These types of EKG tests might be recommended:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Resting EKG.</strong> This measures resting heart rate and rhythm, and lasts about a minute.</li> <li><strong>Exercise EKG</strong> (also called a <strong>stress test</strong>). This measures heart rate and rhythm during exercising, like riding a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill.</li> <li><strong>Signal-average EKG.</strong> This is much like a resting EKG, but monitors the heartbeat for about 15–20 minutes.</li> <li><strong>Holter monitor.</strong> This EKG is done over a long period of time, usually 24 hours or more. The electrodes are fixed to the chest, and the wires are attached to a portable EKG recorder. The child is encouraged to continue normal daily activities, but must be careful to not get the electrodes wet (for example, no swimming, showering, or activities that cause a lot of sweating).<br /><br />The two kinds of Holter monitoring are: <strong>continuous recording</strong>, which means the EKG is on throughout the entire monitoring period; and <strong>event monitoring</strong>, which means data is recorded only when the child feels symptoms and then turns the Holter monitor on.</li> </ul> <h2>How Is an Arrhythmia Treated?</h2> <p>Many arrhythmias don't need treatment. For those that do,&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">these options might be used:</span></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Medicine.</strong>&nbsp;Doctors may prescribe anti-arrhythmic medicines depending on the type of arrhythmia and other considerations. Sometimes, these can increase symptoms and cause side effects, so the patient will be closely watched by the doctor.</li> <li><strong>Pacemakers.</strong> A&nbsp;pacemaker is a small battery-operated device implanted into the body (near the collarbone) through a surgical procedure. Connected to the heart by a wire, a pacemaker can detect if the heart rate is too slow and send electrical signals to speed up the heartbeat.</li> <li><strong>Defibrillators.</strong>&nbsp;A small battery-operated <strong>implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)</strong> is surgically placed near the left collarbone. Wires run from the defibrillator to the heart. The ICD senses if the heart has a dangerously fast or irregular rhythm and sends an electrical signal to restore a normal heartbeat.</li> <li><strong>Catheter ablation.</strong> A catheter (a long, thin wire) is guided through a vein in the leg to the heart. Arrhythmias often are caused by microscopic defects in the heart muscle. Once the problem area of the heart is pinpointed, the catheter heats or freezes&nbsp;the defective muscle cells and destroys them.</li> <li><strong>Surgery.</strong> Surgery is usually recommended only&nbsp;if all other options have failed. The child will be put under <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anesthesia-basics.html/">anesthesia</a>, and a surgeon will remove the tissue causing the arrhythmia.</li> </ul> <h2>When to Call the Doctor</h2> <p>Many arrhythmias are minor and aren't a significant health threat. But some can indicate a more serious problem. If your child has symptoms of an arrhythmia, call your doctor.</p>ArritmiasEl corazón suele latir siguiendo un patrón regular y consistente, pero una arritmia lo puede hacer latir demasiado despacio, demasiado deprisa o de una forma irregular. Este bombeo errático puede llevar a una variedad de síntomas, incluyendo la fatiga, el mareo y el dolor de pecho.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/arrhythmias-esp.html/587a8ce6-eca3-4d04-bd98-9cc2ebd79471
ArrhythmiasArrhythmias are abnormal heartbeats usually caused by an electrical "short circuit" in the heart. Many are minor and not a significant health threat, but others can indicate a more serious problem.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/arrhythmias.html/79184e00-417e-4ce4-a49b-2e89de1b1bd4
Atrial Septal DefectAtrial septal defect, or ASD, is a heart defect that some people are born with. Most ASDs are diagnosed and treated successfully with few or no complications.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/asd.html/109626e5-a3cb-4cba-a44d-947c86de3a81
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)Atrial septal defect (ASD) — also known as a "hole in the heart" — is a type of congenital heart defect. Most ASDs are diagnosed and treated successfully.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/asd.html/2853e7be-1368-420f-bc8d-134350949604
Cardiac CatheterizationThis minimally invasive procedure helps doctors perform diagnostic tests on the heart and even treat some heart conditions.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cardiac-catheter.html/e17d1f5d-ba99-46a6-865b-c426321a7d47
Coarctation of the AortaWhen someone has coarctation of the aorta, that person's aorta (the major blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the body) is narrowed at some point.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/coa.html/85306f7f-1430-420d-9c1b-d7128470a85e
Congenital Heart DefectsHeart defects happen when there's a problem with a baby's heart development during pregnancy. Most heart defects can be treated during infancy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/if-heart-defect.html/3dd23fa7-906f-4df9-8638-7400b77bed42
ECG (Electrocardiogram)Is your child scheduled to have an ECG? Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ekg.html/3b7f9c4b-b77a-4c15-b95a-6e44bc873875
EKG (Video)This video shows what it's like to have an electrocardiogram (EKG for short).https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/video-ekg.html/33217804-bedd-4b29-9ba0-5e5539cdb783
Getting an EKG (Video)Getting an EKG doesn't hurt and it gives doctors important info about how your heart is beating. Watch what happens in this video for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/video-ekg.html/0a1abc9f-625f-43ff-84a2-abcdc4fb2826
Heart MurmursEveryone's heart makes sounds, but some people have hearts that make more noise than others. Usually, however, these heart murmurs don't mean anything is wrong. Find out more about these mysterious murmurs.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/heart-murmurs.html/38913fec-cf94-4522-b3c2-985ecb0f0db6
Heart and Circulatory SystemThe heart and circulatory system (also called the cardiovascular system) make up the network that delivers blood to the body's tissues.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/heart.html/fde8120a-c54e-4e57-94b8-fb4375c29487
Mitral Valve ProlapseMitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a very common heart condition, but it isn't a critical heart problem or a sign of other serious medical conditions.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mvp.html/f0bfc3ea-10ec-4ec2-99d1-2ae174c2c999
The HeartYour heart beats and sends oxygen throughout your entire body. Find out how it works and how heart problems can be fixed.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/heart-center.html/d4cb468c-ba42-454a-94bf-4173f8e15a69
Ventricular Septal DefectVentricular septal defect, or VSD, is a heart condition that a few teens can have. Find out what it is, how it happens, and what doctors do to correct it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/vsd.html/840c44ec-78bd-4e55-ae74-37dcf68a1407
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)Ventricular septal defect (VSD) — also known as a "hole in the heart" — is a congenital heart defect. Most VSDs are diagnosed and treated successfully.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vsd.html/21135699-6b44-43bd-96b1-618186631849
Your Heart & Circulatory SystemYour heart is a hard-working muscle. Find out more in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/heart.html/9730472f-2ef1-413a-92bf-041c533b9564
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-cardiologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-cardiologyHeart & Blood Vesselshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/heart/e9ef0549-4392-4778-974d-753019ce4b8bHeart Loop Recorderhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/heart-loop-recorder/0d202e5c-85a7-4718-9abd-2ad0765188b3Heart Conditionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hearthealth/heartconditions/ba7116cf-3c46-4896-8429-8be5c439795e