Arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses in your heart aren't working properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. These disorders can occur in the upper chambers of the heart, known as the atrium, or the lower chambers, the ventricles.
Arrhythmias are common problems affecting millions of people nationwide. In many cases, they are not serious, with occasional irregular heartbeats that may produce a fluttering feeling called palpitations. However, some heart arrhythmias can be severe and possibly life threatening.
Arrhythmias: What you Need to Know
Experienced, Expert Care
At The University of Vermont Medical Center, we are proud to be among a select group of medical centers able to provide the highest level of care to patients with arrhythmias. Our specially trained heart rhythm team includes internationally recognized experts, several of whom were recruited from the world-renowned Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute, a center on the frontiers of heart rhythm care.
We are fully committed to providing a caring, personal approach to every patient and family we see. We spend as much time with you as you need - answering all your questions and working together to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
As a university hospital, our highly skilled specialists are active in teaching and research - providing care backed by a deep grounding in the latest medical science.
Some arrhythmias cannot be prevented-they are a result of genetics and family history. However, maintaining a healthy heart lifestyle can help to prevent the development of any cardiac disease. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and consider ways to reduce stress.
What are Arrhythmias?
Approximately four million Americans have arrhythmias, or irregular heart beats. However, many of these disorders go undetected because people do not recognize the symptoms.
At The UVM Medical Center, we provide a high level of expertise to treat the full spectrum of heart rhythm conditions.
Heart Rhythm abnormalities fall under the three categories of arrhythmias:
Arrhythmias may cause the heart to beat too slow (less than 60 beats per minute is bradycardia) or too fast (greater than 100 beats per minute is tachycardia.
Arrhythmias may occur from the upper two chambers of the heart, called atrial arrhythmias or supraventricular arrhythmias or may originate from the lower chambers of the heart, called the ventricles. Some arrhythmias are benign, and have little, if any, clinical significance.
Other arrhythmias are malignant, and may be life threatening. A given arrhythmia may have different clinical significance in different individuals, primarily depending upon whether or not the individual has structural heart disease, or most importantly, diminished cardiac performance (congestive heart failure).
Arrhythmias: Diagnosis and Treatment
The UVM Medical Center's highly skilled and experienced heart rhythm team offers the latest diagnostic tests and procedures to help determine the cause of your problem.
We have the full range of diagnostic therapies at our disposal, giving patients access to the best, scientifically proven methods for detecting heart rhythm disorders.
Throughout this process, we work closely with you to make sure you are fully informed at each step of the way.
Learn more about diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias at The UVM Medical Center.