Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm. The heart’s electrical system normally sends regularly spaced signals.
These signals tell the heart muscle to contract or beat.
The heart has two upper chambers called atria. It also has two lower chambers called ventricles. Each signal starts in the atria and travels to the rest of the heart. The electrical signals from the atria are fast and irregular when you have atrial fibrillation. The atria shake instead of contract. Some signals do not reach the ventricles and the ventricles continue pumping. This pumping is usually irregular and sometimes rapid. This rhythm can reduce the heart’s ability
to pump blood out to the body.
Blood left in the heart chambers can form clots. These clots may sometimes break away and travel to the brain. This can cause stroke.
Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) are genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy, people. These conditions can be treated and deaths can be prevented.
Warning Signs of SADS
SADS conditions occur because the electrical system of the heart is not working properly, so that the heart beats with an abnormal rhythm.
Facts about SADS Conditions
Each year in the United States, 350,000 Americans die suddenly and unexpectedly due to cardiac arrhythmias. Almost 4,000 of them are young people under age 35. (CDC 2002)
10-12% of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases are due to Long QT Syndrome.
LQTS is now known to be 3 times more common in the US than childhood leukemia.
family history of unexpected, unexplained sudden death under age 40
fainting or seizure during exercise, excitement or startle
consistent or unusual chest pain and/or shortness of breath during exercise.
Please click here if you or a child you know
have any of these Warning Signs
Because SADS condition are passed down from parent to child, each child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition. It is estimated that over half of the 4,000 SADS deaths each year of children, teens, or young adults have one of the top two warning signs: 1) family history – of a SADS diagnosis or sudden unexplained death (usually undiagnosed and untreated) of a family member, or 2) fainting.
1 in 200,000 high school athletes in the US will die suddenly, most without any prior symptoms—JAMA 1996; 276
Excerpt from the SADS Foundation
We are sometimes referred to as the electricians of the heart. We treat all types of heart rhythm disorders: hearts that beat slowly, quickly or erratically. We evaluate patients with palpitations to help diagnose the etiology of palpitations and then cure the underlying problem. In addition to palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety, dizziness (syncope) are some other manifestations of arrhythmia.
Common arrhythmias that we deal with are atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). We usually try medication to treat arrhythmias but when medications are insufficient we may recommend an ablation procedure.
There are different types of ablation but they all aim at eliminating the source of the arrhythmia. Our practice is at the forefront of technology and we use the newest techniques and equipment available to provide the safest and most effective therapy to our patients. We implant and manage all types of pacemakers and defibrillators. We have one of the largest and most efficient remote monitoring programs in the state of Florida. Remote monitoring allows us to watch over and treat our patients in between their office visits. At Cardiac Arrhythmia Services we have 3 cardiac electrophysiologists, 2 physician assistants, 2 remote monitoring technicians, 3 nurses and a staff of 19 people who all work together on daily basis to ensure that our patients get the best care possible.
Copyright by Cardiac Arrhythmia Services. All rights reserved.