There are many sorts of heart diseases that can cause very similar symptoms in each person, one such disease which is becoming more talked about is afib with rvr. AFIB means Atrial Fibrillation and RVR is Rapid Ventricular Response. This condition effects the heart and the surrounding ventricles and causes irregular heart beat as the normal electrical pulses malfunction. For most people this defect can go unnoticed and they are unaware that there is a problem with their heart and its performance.
Signs and Symptoms
As said it can go unnoticed by the person and in some cases even by doctors. The main things that a person may experience are:
- Fluttering of the heart
- Weak or an erratic pulse
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
A lot of these things may seem normal after working out, or when stressed which is why it goes unnoticed, it is not until you experience the more severe symptoms and at times when you are at rest that you realise there could be a problem.
It can be best if you do feel any of these symptoms to speak with your doctor and have some tests carried out. This is to confirm whether you are a sufferer of afib with rvr or not, it can also give you peace of mind if tests come back clear.
Tests That Are Carried Out
The typical test that would be carried out is an ECG or a EKG. This is a painless procedure in which you would lie down and have a monitor connected to electrodes which are placed strategically upon the chest. These will send messages back and forth and record any signs of irregularity on the heart.
Some sufferers of afib with rvr have the irregularity constantly and so these tests would show up quite quickly that there is an issue. However some people only have these issues sporadically and if they are not having an episode when the monitors are on then it will not show.
To combat this, the person is usually fitted with a portable device, called an atrial fib monitor which is worn for 24 to 48 hours. This will record all information about the heart during this time, so that when they return to their physician all the information can be looked at. This will then determine if there is a problem or not. The person may need to wear this for longer periods or a combination of several days over a month.
If the person is aware that the palpitations and weakness occur at certain times, the most common being after exercising then the doctor may do their testing whilst the person is on a treadmill. Again this is a painless procedure, where the person will run on the treadmill, attached to monitors. It is better to do this and get the results that they are suffering with afib with rvr then leaving it to chance.
Problems With Afib
There are some areas of concern with people that suffer with this condition and that is that it can lead to other issues concerning the heart and the body. These include:
- Afib stroke risk
This is the main risk that afib sufferers have, it is actually reported that 1 in 3 people suffer a stroke because of it. It occurs as the blood is not pumped around the body, which then collects together and causes a blood clot. This clot then builds up in arteries and stops the blood and oxygen from reaching the brain. When the brain is stopped of this, it causes the cells to die and results in a stroke.
- Congestive Heart failure
The second risk caused by afib with rvr, which occurs because the abnormal electrical pulses cause the heart to work more than it can cope with. It results in the heart being overworked, enlarged and weak and prevents the blood being pumped around the body. This of course causes problems with the vital organs of the body too, but it can be treated and in most severe cases will require a heart transplant.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is a fairly new development in that the two are connected, but doctors are seeing more and more people having them both. It is still being researched, but they think it is all to do with higher levels of a protein in the blood, C-reactive.
Treatments for Afib with rvr
Dependent upon the person and the severity of the condition, the treatment is going to vary.
RFor those with mild symptoms that are presenting no high risks to them they may be given medications like rvr amiodarone, which can be taken either in tablet form or an intravenous drip. Dosages will vary from person to person. Other medicines like Warfarin may be prescribed to help thin the bold so that chances of a stroke are reduced.
Another option is for the doctors to perform an electrical cardioversion in where the person undergoes a procedure to kick start the heart back into a normal rhythm. The person will be under aesthetic for the procedure, where a defibrillator is used; the person is carefully monitored and will need to take certain medications leading up to it and after.
The third procedure is to undergo a catheter ablation, this is where catheters are inserted into the body from several areas, and are used to scar the tissue so that the abnormal electrical pulses do not occur and reduce afib from happening.
Nursing afib with rvr sufferers is all about being there for them, being patient and understanding that though their condition is not visible it is still happening to them and they need support.