Arryhthmias in children

Arryhthmias | Types of arrhythmias | Diagnosis | Treatment | EKG tracings

An arrhythmia (also called dysrhythmia) is an abnormal rhythm of the heart, which can cause the heart to pump less effectively. 

Arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of the heart chambers by:

  • Not allowing the chambers to fill with an adequate amount of blood, because an electrical signal is causing the heart to pump too fast.
  • Not allowing a sufficient amount of blood to be pumped out to the body, because an electrical signal is causing the heart to pump too slowly or too irregularly.

In any of these situations, the heart may not be able to pump an adequate amount of blood to the body with each beat due to the arrhythmia's effects on the heart rate. The effects on the body are often the same, whether the heartbeat is too fast, too slow, or too irregular.

What are the symptoms of arrhythmia in children?

The following are the most common symptoms of arrhythmia. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

The symptoms of arrhythmias may resemble other medical conditions or heart problems.

Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis. Another indication of an arrhythmia is a change in the electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) pattern. However, EKG changes are not seen unless an EKG test is performed or a child is being monitored in the hospital or other facility. Because symptoms such as those listed above may indicate the presence of an arrhythmia, an EKG is commonly done on children with one or more of the symptoms.

Arryhthmias | Types of arrhythmias | Diagnosis | Treatment | EKG tracings