Understanding Arrhythmia: The Ins and Outs of Irregular Heartbeats
An irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, is quite common. Get an explanation of the different kinds of abnormal beats.
The atria, the heart’s upper chambers, and ventricles, the heart’s lower chambers, work together to pump blood through the heart by alternately contracting and relaxing. The heart’s electrical system is the power source that makes this possible, and its natural pacemaker regulates normal rhythms. When your heart is beating normally, you usually don’t notice it. But when it beats irregularly or abnormally – called an arrhythmia – you may become all too aware of each and every beat.
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In this white board session, cardiologist Patrick J. Tchou, MD, uses helpful diagrams and explanations to make sense of terms such as arrhythmia, tachycardia and supraventricular — which really aren’t as complicated as they sound.