DOI link for Cardiac arrhythmias
Cardiac arrhythmias book
Arrhythmias can be classified according to their origin, as supraventricular or ventricular, or their effect on heart rate, as bradycardias or tachycardias. The effect that arrhythmia has on the cardiac output and blood pressure determines whether or not it is life threatening. Management depends on the type of arrhythmia; some arrhythmias are cardiac arrest rhythms and require immediate treatment following the Advanced Life Support (ALS) principles of airway, breathing and circulation. Supraventricular tachycardias can be divided into regular or irregular rhythms. There are currently no drug treatments available for heart block; the only treatment option is electrical pacing. The electrical signal is blocked from progressing through the normal pathway, so external electricity is used to cause contraction of the ventricle. Ventricular extrasystoles are common and are of no consequence if they are infrequent. Ventricular fibrillation may be coarse or fine but is always a cardiac arrest rhythm and requires urgent resuscitation.