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Abnormal Heart Rhythm / Arrhythmia

Abnormal Heart Rhythm / Arrhythmia - Preparing for surgery

Abnormal Heart Rhythm / Arrhythmia - Post-surgery care

Abnormal Heart Rhythm / Arrhythmia - Other Information

​Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) can also result in other types of heart conditions.

Often, a life-threatening arrhythmia is linked to heart conditions such as:

  • Coronary artery disease: The Singapore study found that 81 per cent of all sudden cardiac deaths were caused by coronary artery disease (hardening and narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart).
  • Heart attack: Almost 75 per cent of all sudden cardiac arrest patients show signs of a previous heart attack (myocardial infarction).
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: An abnormal thickening of the heart muscle can cause ventricular fibrillation, especially during exertion.
  • Electrical disorders of the heart: One of these disorders is Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, characterised by an extra nerve connecting the heart chambers. This can cause an ‘electrical short-circuit’ in the heart, resulting in a rapid heartbeat. Brugada syndrome and long QT syndrome are also examples of electrical disorders.

When to seek emergency medical care

Please seek immediate medical help if your abnormal heart rhythm is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual sweating
  • Loss of consciousness

It is also important to consult a doctor without delay if you have pre-existing heart conditions or a family history of sudden death.

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