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Posts (18)

Nov 7, 2017 · Afib & PVC's in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Afib- normally there is one place in the right upper chamber (atrium) that “controls” the heart rate- it fires an electrical charge that is then transmitted through the upper chambers,, causing them to contract and squeeze blood (the lub in lub dub of the heart beat). the signal then passes through a spot between the upper chambers and lower chambers, then goes through the electrical system of the ventricles, causing them to contract and squeeze blood- the dub in lub dub. Result is blood being squeezed through the heart and around the body to get oxygen and nourish the body organs.

In atrial fibrillation, the electrical system goes a bit haywire, and multiple places in the upper chambers fire off in a chaotic rhythm, causing the heart to beat in an irregular and less efficient manner. See Web MD or other online sites for pictures of this.

Tachycardia is just a term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute, it can be normal, from exercising, or abnormal for a lot of reasons.

And PVC is Premature Ventricular Contractions, or the squeezing of the lower chambers that is not happening when it should in the heart beat cycle. PVCs are very common, not dangerous unless associated with a heart attack or some other conditions. Some people feel them (“palpitations”) and some don’t.

Hope this helps, and if anyone has corrections, fire away 🙂

Nov 7, 2017 · Afib & PVC's in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Your symptoms sound distressing at the very least… here is what I think I know, RN with husband in and out of afib for 10 years, electrically cardioverted about 7 times successfully. He finally had an ablation 15 months ago and was one of the few who have an awful experience. Quite low risk but they burned a hole in his atrium, he bled into his pericardium (sac around heart) and needed urgent tap for a quart of blood in the sac.

Anyway, after a year of unstable pulse rate but mostly in normal rhythm, his heart seems to be healing and he can exercise again. He is on Tikosyn, an antiarrythmic drug with scary side effects, and on blood thinner Xaralto. There is now an antidote for Xaralto and it is much easier to deal with than coumadin, but that is individual decision.

So anticoagulants and afib- the risk of a stroke with someone going in and out of afib is significant, look it up on the internet. Every cardiologist has really pushed for anticoagulants more than aspirin, although that certainly provides some protection against clots.

Ablation the first time is about 50/50 successful, many people try it but don’t be fooled into thinking it is a minor procedure. They work inside a beating heart, burn a group of places where atrial fib can start, then wait for scar tissue to form to see if it worked. When it works I have heard wonderful results, but many have more than one procedure and it does have risks such as my husband had. Get a couple of opinions.

If you can possibly prevent afib by figuring out your “triggers”, I would sure try that first. For some people it is alcohol, one friend can’t have a single beer without going into afib. Ditto for smoking, and I don’t know about caffeine. No one wants to change lifestyle but afib at 200 rate is not any fun either.

Finally, another friend is going to Houston for Dr. Wolf to do a Wolf Minimaze, newer than ablation but claims a success rate of over 70%, worth some research. And as my husband and other afib patients say, “I want my life back” but that is not how medical issues work, no amount of wishing can change things. My best wishes to you in your decisions. Linda Libby RN VT

Oct 29, 2017 · Afib - Wolf Mini Maze procedure in Heart Rhythm Conditions

Has anyone heard of this surgical procedure, reportedly better chance of success than ablation? Dr Wolf in houston developed it…
also, has anyone been on tikosyn for more than 5 years or so? thanks. VT Rob

Sep 4, 2017 · AFib questions in Heart Rhythm Conditions

This is long after your question, but my husband was told that in the event that he goes back into afib and does not know it, he is at high risk of a stroke. I can see that point, although he DOES know when he goes into afib, gets short of breath and feels his heart pound. But , the possibility of a stroke is a very high risk to take… Linda Libby, RN

Aug 25, 2017 · My dad has to have open heart surgery. I'm so scared! in Heart & Blood Health

Louis, my heart goes out to you, I know what it’s like to be a scared family member. But my husband- the patient- always reassured me “We WILL get through this” and we always have. In six months it will be a fading memory for you. Of course problems can happen but know that there have been thousands of open heart surgeries done with great results. When I was a new nurse in 1980, open heart surgery was new and just beyond experimental, now it is very common and doctors are very experienced and competent.
So learn as much as you can, do have a support person with you, and don’t be reluctant to ask the doctors any of your questions or fears. Many good thoughts are being sent your way. Linda Libby, RN

Aug 17, 2017 · My girlfriend has a serious condition. And trying to learn more about in Heart & Blood Health

No a donor heart is transplanted asap, maybe a few hours in cold solution while transported but often immediate if the donor and recipient can be in the same place. How frightening for you and your girlfriend, thinking of you both. Linda Libby RN

Aug 16, 2017 · Cardiac Rehab in Heart & Blood Health

Sending good wishes to you, interested in your age and why the transplant. Aren’t we fortunate to live in a time where transplants are an option? I am a recently retired ER RN who was involved in encouraging families to be donors when their horrible events happened. It was very stressful for me, for them, and must be incredibly anxiety producing to be waiting for an organ. God bless you and your family. Linda Libby RN

Jul 18, 2017 · Bypass surgery in Heart & Blood Health

I am writing as an emergency dept RN and also the wife of a 66 year old man who had a very frightening heart experience last year. I have no medical answers to your questions “why”, every person is different and his doctors are the only ones who might explain the short benefit of the CABG. Most likely though I am sorry to say, they might just say “sometimes this happens, we can’t say why”. The fact is that you didn’t really have an option last year, the risk of doing no surgery was too great.
I just want to say that I know what it’s like to be terrified about what is happening to your husband, and my best help came from talking and emailing to lots of supportive friends who offered sympathy, prayers and good wishes for us. Also believe that you WILL get through this, and although we can’t control events, take one day at a time and lean on your family and friends. Sending you good thoughts and do let us all know how things are in 6 months… Linda Libby